Exploring Caves in New Hampshire

Looking inside a cave at Lost River Gorge

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been intrigued by caves.  Going underground and exploring an environment created thousands of years ago just seems pretty cool.  You may not realize New Hampshire has a couple of places where you can do just that.  Take a look!

 

Wooden boardwalk with trees and ferns on either side

Large boulders with stream of water flowing down one part

Follow the boardwalk at the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves that leads you right into the forest.  You can’t help but appreciate the natural surroundings around you.  While this area was formed millions of years ago from glaciers that melted during the Ice Age, the first documented exploration wasn’t until the 1850s.

Sign at entrance of Cave of Odin

Steps going into Cave of Odin

You can stay on the boardwalk, or to make your trek through a little more challenging get off the path and climb through the caves.  One of the first caves you’ll come to is the Cave of Odin. Keep your head low as you crawl through and look for the deep pool of water down below.

Triangular opening going into Center of the Earth Cave

Waterfall going through part of the Gorge with a footbridge above it

Climb into the Center of the Earth and check out the hole in the boulder above you.  It lets in just enough light to make you feel as though you are deep down in the center of the earth.  Be sure to stop and enjoy the beautiful Paradise Falls which is right nearby.

Entrance to Lemon Squeezer with a guage to show if you can fit through

As the name suggests, the Lemon Squeezer, is a tight fit to get inside.  But don’t worry there are tips on how to get through. (Hint: If you’re not up to it, you can always go around).

Scenic picture of moutain ranges in the distance

In all there’s about 20 or so caves to explore with varying degrees of difficulty, so there’s a little something for everyone.  Plus there are several spots where you can stop and enjoy views of the gorge and surrounding mountain ranges too.  If you think you might like to explore the caves at night, check out their Lantern Tour!

Looking down into a cave with small opening

Just south of Lost River, in Rumney are the Polar Caves – the other site of our caving experience.  The Polar Caves also took shape during the last Ice Age when a massive continental glacier moved across the landscape.

The Kissing Bridge - a traditional New England Covered Bridge for pedestrians

Pick up the path just outside the main lodge, head across the Kissing Bridge and up to the Guide’s platform to begin your tour of the caves.

Ice in the bottom of the Ice Cave

Stone steps leading down inside Ice Cave

One of my favorites here is the Ice Cave.  No surprise why it’s called that once you crawl inside. It’s not uncommon for ice from winter to still be here in August – how cool is that!

Narrow passageway through cave with staircase in foreground

Big rocks inside Fat Man's Misery Cave

Fat Man’s Misery is the longest cave here with two chambers and a set of steep stairs – be sure to watch your footing and keep your head low as you go through.

Lemon Squeeze sign at entrance of cave

Orange Crush Cave entrance

They’ve got a cave called Lemon Squeeze too! If you’re not fond of small spaces – opt to take Orange Crush which is the cave around it.  This is such a great place to visit on a hot New Hampshire summer day – talk about natural air conditioning!

Rock formation of a St. Bernard's head

View of Baker River Valley

In addition to the caves, there’s some cool rock formations to see along with sweeping views of the Baker River Valley.  And check out the interpretive signs that give some great insight to the history here.  If you’re looking to elevate your adventure even more, check out the rock climbing attractions they recently added.

Sculptured Rocks Natural Area in the fall

Madison Boulder

New Hampshire has some other geological wonders you might consider checking out.  The Sculptured Rocks Natural Area in Groton and the Madison Boulder Natural Area in Madison.  If you haven’t already be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates!

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View of Lake Winnipesaukee from Lakeview Trail on Lockes Hill in Gilford

The snow has melted away, buds are starting to pop out on trees, crocuses are starting to poke up through the ground. Signs of spring are everywhere in New Hampshire.  So now, you’re looking for some ideas of what to do with the kids during this transition of seasons.  Well, you’re in luck, we happen to have the inside scoop.  We headed to the Lakes Region and found a few family friendly adventures that are definitely kid approved. Learn More

A Sticky Sweet Sign of Spring: New Hampshire Maple Syrup!

Maple Tree surrounded by snow with sap buckets hanging on tree

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Flight of samples of different kinds of beer from Concord Craft Brewing

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Christmas Trees on hill with mountain views in background

If you’ve never cut down your own Christmas Tree, why not make this the year you try it!  Harvest your own experiences at New Hampshire Christmas Tree Farms range from cutting your own tree, to taking a horse-drawn wagon ride to roasting marshmallows by a fire.  So what are you waiting for? Get family and friends together, make a day of it and head out to a farm near you. Learn More

Exploring fall foliage in New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region! And some cool spots for photo opps!

View looking out over forest at Pawtuckaway State Park

What a beautiful fall this year in New Hampshire, despite it arriving a little later than usual. While peak foliage has come and gone in many regions of the state, the change of seasons typically happens last on the Seacoast.  That seems to be holding true again this year.  Certainly with the most recent storm many of the leaves are off the trees, even in this area, but the beauty of the season has not fallen from view.  Come along as we explore the foliage and highlight some great spots for photo opps. Learn More