In 1871, a cave was discovered in Kutztown, Pennsylvania by the farmer’s son who owned the land (in the center of Dutch Country). The name, Crystal Cave, stuck for the calcium crystal formations that had grown on the ceiling and walls.

The cave also consists of stalagmites, stalactites, flowstone, and other various rocks/mineral. It is said that most of this cave, at one point, was underwater judging by the salt crystals on the walls. And with the discovery of the cave, formations had been named throughout time named for their odd shapes like the Ice Cream Cone.

Crystal Cave

The Icecream Cone. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

Being one of Pennsylvania’s most popular natural attractions, Crystal Cave has attracted thousands of people from all around the US for decades. At a chilly 54 degrees, you are lead on a tour 125 feet underground, first walking through the different ‘rooms’. These ‘rooms’ were once occupied by people attending events at the cave, making a space for a ballroom. Even Pennsylvania’s first cave wedding occurred on the property, and it was said a few hundred people showed up at the affair; it was so grand they even carried a full-sized piano inside!

Dutch Country crystal cave

Photo: Kathryn Campbell

Moving through the cave, the tour guide will point out details or explain how something formed over the years; lights accompany the walls along with secure flooring for a safe tour. At one point, the tour guide will turn off the lights in the cave to get a feel for what it was like without technology.

It is truly an eerie experience, standing in a pitch black cave, but it is used to depict how early visitors saw the cave. After that part is when the tour climbs the steps up to the Lookout Point which sits 60 feet below the Earth’s surface. Here, tourists can see the whole span of the cave. Moving along the path, the tour will also see the lowest point (The Devil’s Den) being 155 feet below the Earth’s surface.

After the tour, families can stop by the Ice Cream parlor and the Rock and Mineral Shop for tasty treats and souvenirs. In between the two buildings is a sluice, where visitors sift through a bag of dirt they had purchased inside the shop; after sifting through the dirt, one can find a fossil or gemstone to keep as their own.

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