Smoke Hole Caverns

Sunday Gazette-Mail
February 22, 1981

Grandeur in the ground

Story and photos by Samuel L. Vandevender

Smoke Hole Caverns' unparalleled natural beauty and magnificent formations are the result of millions of years of intriate chemical processes and trillions of drops of mineral laden water.

American Oil Company Geologist, Dr. Roy Sites, said, "Caves developed in highly contorted or deformed areas are not very common. Smoke Hole Caverns is therefore a geologically unique natural laboratory to study earth science. Smoke Hole Caverns' geologic history is one of the most complex I have ever seen. It is indeed a speleogist's paradise to the observant eye."

The uniqueness of Smoke Hole Caverns' formations is best exemplified by: genuine Crystal Cave Coral Pool, found in only one other cavern in the world, with golden rainbow trout; the world's longest ribbon or bacon stalactite, and a sparkling room of a Million of Stalactites, with second highest ceiling of any cavern in the eastern United States, towering 274 feet.

While mystified with these unusual monuments of ancient geological processes, the supernatural beauty of the glistening White Alaskan Glacier, majestic Queen's Canopy, time polished Flowstone Dome with Artesian Spring and Rainbow Falls will infatuate you.

Smoke Hole Caverns were meticulously created by the master touch of nature over millions of years. And, unlike some celebrated World Wonders, Smoke Hole Caverns is still receiving Nature's magical touch of creation. Yes, visitors see the stunning evidence of past unique geological processes and current geological creation. The variety of stalactite and stalagmite formation will inflame your imagination.

Evidence of these past cataclysmic events beneath the Earth's crust is the vertical walls within the caverns and nearby perpendicular Seneca Rocks. Perhaps, it was during all these upheavals and quaking that Smoke Hole Caverns received its "274 foot" ceilinged Room of a Million Stalactites.

Smoke Hole Caverns' Perfect Columns are considered phenomenal beauties by geologists, naturalists and speleologists alike. When you see them, you will know why.

Another exceptional result of Smoke Hole Caverns' creation during the uplift of the Appalachian Mountains is an underground lake which is 125 feet long, 55 feet wide and approximately 18 inches deep.

Other geologically unique cavern formations are the helicitites which defy the laws of gravity while puzzling geologists, and flowstones which are formed by water seeping out from the contorted walls of the caverns and flowing down the sides. One hundred to hundred-twenty-five years is required to form one cubic inch of flowstone.

Yes, wherever you look, you will see the master touch of nature in Smoke Hoke [sic] "Show" Caverns.

Parks and Recreation