The Adirondack Mountains are filled with many natural wonders, but few are as incredible or easy to reach as the largest marble cave entrance in the eastern United States.
The land on which this incredible cave sits was part of a land grant given to a Revolutionary War soldier. Over the years, a sawmill was set up on the land, which was the primary economic use of the area around the caves for several generations.
Today, the area doesn’t make its money off of a mill but instead takes advantage of the incredible natural beauty of the caves and natural stone bridge located on the property. Believe it or not, this property is home to the only public cave in the Adirondacks!
I visited the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in northern Warren County, New York, on a rainy October afternoon. While I got wet exploring the site, it was great to see it without the crowds that would likely have been there on a nice day.
There are many attractions at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves (more on those below), but the main highlight of any visit is the 3/4-mile trail that takes you past the stone bridge, caves, and waterfalls on the property.
Before leaving the visitor center on your hike, make sure you grab a map of the grounds. While the trail is fairly linear, there are a few spots where the trail has two options for hiking, so it’s good to know where to go.
The map also features information about the roughly 20 spots highlighted along the trail. While there are signs with this same information at most, if not all, of the markers, it’s still nice to have your own copy to read while on the trail.
The first spot of particular interest on the hike is where the old mill once sat. While little remains of the sawmill, this is still an incredibly beautiful spot that features a cascading waterfall of around 10 feet in height.
I visited the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves at nearly peak foliage, and the old sawmill site was an incredible spot to see with the many colorful leaves surrounding Trout Brook.
Just around the corner from the waterfall, the trail provides your first glimpse of the Stone Bridge and the cave below it.
The Stone Bridge is actually the entrance to the main cave system on the property and is the largest marble cave entrance on the east coast. This opening is incredibly impressive.
After this first view of the Stone Bridge, the trail climbs the hill and passes directly over the entrance to the cavern below. The view from this area is also quite spectacular.
The trail then descends the hill and becomes a bit more difficult. That being said, just about anyone who is comfortable on uneven terrain should be able to tackle this trail without too much trouble.
Once back down to stream level, the trail heads both left and right. This is probably my favorite part of the entire hike as both directions lead into the mouth of a cavern.
Heading to the right takes you a short distance into the large cave entrance. Since this cave, like the others, is a fairly young cave with a stream running through it, you can’t walk far into the cavern and you won’t see any formations as you do at other caves in New York.
However, it’s still incredibly impressive to stand just inside this entrance and watch as the water rushes into the cave and disappears.
After going inside the big cave, follow the trail over Trout Brook and head down into Noisy Cave. Despite being very close to the other entrance, this is a separate cave system.
While once again you can only go a few feet into the cave, what makes Noisy Cave so special is that it is home to an underground waterfall. While this waterfall only drops a few feet, it’s still neat to be able to see something like this below the surface of the earth. Lights in rotating colors help you see this beautiful spot.
The trail continues on the far side of Trout Brook with beautiful views of spots that you have already seen, as well as a few new points of interest. After a short distance, the trail returns to stream level and actually passes over rock that represents the ceiling of a cavern below.
As with the other spots, this area is a lot of fun to check out. Don’t miss the chance to pop into Lost Pool Cave which features a beautiful pool of water that is up to 30 feet deep!
From here, the trail returns to the visitor center and gift shop at the end of the 3/4-mile trail.
Without a doubt, this self-guided trail offers incredible views and is well worth hiking. It’s worth noting though that the caves at this spot are relatively young, so don’t visit expecting the type of massive formations you find at other show caves in New York.
If you are interested in exploring more, however, the site offers an Adventure Tour during the summer months that takes you into some of the caves on the site and is a great way to explore the area if regular hiking isn’t adventurous enough for you.
In addition to the main trail and the caves, the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves property includes a disc golf course, snowshoe trails, and hiking trails. For kids, there is a bouldering wall, gemstone mining, and much more.
Having had a chance to explore the great caves and trails at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves, I definitely recommend this as a great spot to visit when exploring the Adirondacks. This site offers a lot of incredible scenery and fun for everyone.
A Few Notes About the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves
There are a few things worth noting about the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York.
First, if you put their address into Google Maps, it will stop you well short of the actual site. Assuming you are on Stone Bridge Road, keep following it. The road will eventually dead into the attraction’s parking lot.
It’s also worth noting that the trail is not dog or stroller-friendly.
Note: My visit to the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves was hosted by the site. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
Natural Stone Bridge and Caves
Hours: Hours Vary
Cost: Adults: $16, Kids: $8.50
Address: 535 Stone Bridge Rd