New Offerings at Howe Caverns: an Adventure Course, Zorbing-like Experience
New this year, the popular Schoharie County attraction is offering their H2OGO Ball. The 12-foot plastic orb has a smaller ball inside of it where you sit surrounded by a 5-gallons of water. Wearing a T-shirt and preferably a bathing suit, you are pushed off of a wooden platform at the top of the Howe Cavern facility's hill and the ball rolls down 1,100 feet while you - supposedly - feel like you're on a really long, really unique water slide.
Pretty much sounds like Zorbing, which I've always wanted to do.
I say "supposedly" because sadly the attraction is now only open on weekends through Columbus Day weekend so I wasn't able to ride it today during my visit to Howe Caverns - my first visit in probably about two decades (and I'm pretty sure I wore the same L.L. Bean jacket then that I did today).
I remembered very little about the Caverns from my first experience. I somehow even forgot about the frozen mouse that my brother reminded me of before my visit. But don't let me memory fool you, the place really is quite unforgettable.
The limestone caverns meander over about 1.5 miles. Some of the caves are quite open while others might leave you feeling a bit claustrophobic. There were rock formations that looked like witches, organs, and TMNT, but most of the formations pretty much looked....very phallic. And most of these are still growing since many are "active" formations since water is still dripping on them and transforming them. The calcite formations, we learned, grow 1/10 of an inch per year.
But on top of the caverns the Howe campus also includes a cafe, a mining center, ropes course, air jumper, zipline, rock wall and the H2OGO Ball. And, along with the regular 90-minute tour (priced at $25), they also offer an adventure two-hour tour with spelunking (priced at $108 per person) and a family flashlight tour.
A lot really has changed at Howe Caverns over the years.