Searching For A Cave In The Pines

Pan

Explorer
Jul 4, 2011
460
158
Arizona
I have been questioned on my geological leanings in the past but I do know what it takes to make a cave and south jersey doesn't have it.Cave it is not,now to find out what it is???



One of my sports used to be caving (spelunking). I was a member of the Met Grotto Caving Club in NYC, and I remember going caving with them once - about 1990 - in to cave in central or southern New Jersey called Lee Cavern or Lee Cave. It was locked with a gate so people couldn't get in, but they had the key to the gate. I can't remember where it was in NJ nor can I find it online, but it was real nice big cave and we went down into it.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,310
2,132
58
millville nj
www.youtube.com
Thanks Pan! Even has coords to cave entrances! I've been caving since the early 80's and if I'm not mistaken all the crooked swamp caves have been connected and that cave stands as NJ longest cave now.Leigh cave has the biggest room but CS more passage.I used to be in the Central Jersey grotto and used to go to Surprise cave in Sullivan county ny but have never actuallyt been caving in my home state of NJ.Mostly wv,indiana,pa and NY for me.
 

Pan

Explorer
Jul 4, 2011
460
158
Arizona
Hi, Manumuskin. I mostly caved in upstate NY, and a few in the west. I don't know if Leigh Cave is accessible anymore. Latest thing I noticed online (admittedly not searching very hard) was from 2002 saying access has been shut down:

"Please note that access to Leigh Cave has been interrupted due to a liability
insurance issue with the Round Valley Recreation Area (RVRA) Administration..."

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:rOUz9X-15HEJ:www.metgrotto.com/news/ &cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox

Almost everything is illegal in New Jersey.

That pdf document that I linked is dated 1976.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,310
2,132
58
millville nj
www.youtube.com
all caves on public land are pretty much shut down in the northeast due to WNS.I just received a NSS magazine full of WNS articles.They have come to the conclusion that WNS is most definitely spread through bat to bat contact though they cannot yet rule out human to bat contact they have failed to show in the last six years that humans do indeed spread the fungus to bats.The Monongahela national forest in WV is reviewing their blanket closure policies now but you know the governemnt,this could take years to get an okay for reopening.Doesn't matter to me anyway.I know where the caves are when I am in the mood.Been semi retired lately for want of no one to go with and living in NJ it's not convenient to go alone.Grand kids are gettin older,a few more years they'll be ready.
 

Pan

Explorer
Jul 4, 2011
460
158
Arizona
all caves on public land are pretty much shut down in the northeast due to WNS.I just received a NSS magazine full of WNS articles.They have come to the conclusion that WNS is most definitely spread through bat to bat contact though they cannot yet rule out human to bat contact they have failed to show in the last six years that humans do indeed spread the fungus to bats.The Monongahela national forest in WV is reviewing their blanket closure policies now but you know the governemnt,this could take years to get an okay for reopening.Doesn't matter to me anyway.I know where the caves are when I am in the mood.Been semi retired lately for want of no one to go with and living in NJ it's not convenient to go alone.Grand kids are gettin older,a few more years they'll be ready.



I didn't know that. I used to be more concerned with me catching something from the bats rather than vice versa, like crawling through thousand year old guano and breathing it in. Do cavers ever get sick from that?

"I know where the caves are when I am in the mood."

Do you know how to get in to the caves? I wouldn't mind having another go at Leigh when I'm back east.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,310
2,132
58
millville nj
www.youtube.com
Yes cavers get sick from that.It's called histoplasmosis.My dad actually has scars on his lungs from it because he is from southern Indiana and spent a lot of time crawling around in caves as a kid and later on as an adult they found the scars with some kind of scan and hey said it is usually contracted from breathing in aerosols from bat piss.It is more common in the tropics but is known in the USA as well.
I imagine to get into Leigh you'd have to get in contact with the local grottos probably the central jersey grotton,the MET grotto or the north jersey grotto.Try the NSS message board.I know that the trend is to gate the caves in the name of conservation and then the grottoes get the keys and control access.It's a communist caving game where special cliques control the access to caves on public (your) property and if your not on a grotto trip or very high in the clique you will not have access. WNS is being used to further their goals of cave domination.Caves are closed that have no bat populations at all.very sad.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,650
2,906
Pines; Bamber area
I can't think of many more things that give me the shivers than some spooky, unknown cave off the beaten track that is not run for tourists. I was in PA one time (I think west of Philly) where there was a huge boulder field. Off to the side at the edge was a small opening in the rocks and you could hear the wind being sucked in. My buddy wanted to go in. I was not eager at all, in fact I was terrified. I thought I could hear a dog howling deep inside. I literally backed away and dragged him along with me.
 

Pan

Explorer
Jul 4, 2011
460
158
Arizona
Oh I thought you knew how to get in the caves, Man. when you said, "Doesn't matter to me anyway.I know where the caves are when I am in the mood." I agree with what you were saying in almost all things, but maybe caves might be a bit of an exception as vandals trash them and destroy the artifacts. I met the guys who discovered Karchner Cavern here in Arizona. They kept it a secret for years because they didn't want it getting trashed. It is now open for tourists but they're trying to be very careful about protecting it. I don't think the grotto caving clubs were very cliquish or exclusive. They even let me in.
 

Pan

Explorer
Jul 4, 2011
460
158
Arizona
I can't think of many more things that give me the shivers than some spooky, unknown cave...


A lot of people feel as you do, Bob., but I am fascinating by subterranean stuff, and what's more I like tight places. It's an ancestral thing that goes back to the ice age. I feel safe from cave bears and other big fierce Pleistocene animals in a nice cozy cave.
 
Top