Stone Bridge And Diving Pools
Sometimes the best way to get out of the summer heat is to go underground. Deep in the heart of New York’s Adirondacks is Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park, a family-owned natural attraction just outside Pottersville.
The park’s main attraction is the stone bridge, a natural rock arch formation that covers Trout Creek as it dives underground on one end of the bridge and resurfaces again 250 feet later. As it courses underground, the stream splits in two and has created and opened massive marble caves and formed deep pools. Tours through the park, the caves and the pools are self-guided, allowing visitors to explore at their leisure.
The park itself is family-owned and has been open in its current guise since the early 1950s. The land was originally a Revolutionary War land grant given to Jacob Van Benthuysen for his service in the Continental Army. Locals had long brought friends, visitors and reporters to the natural wonder to explore. By the early 20th century, an actual road had been built leading to the area. By the late 1940s, Elfrieda Heldt and her daughter Lydia Heldt, descendents of Jacob Van Benthuysen, bought the property outright, developed a trail system and created the park.
These days the park has been developed into a geologic playground. Kids can sign up for all kinds of activities, like sifting gravel in a sluice to find gold and gems or searching for crystals in the sandy floor of one of the park’s smaller caves or digging for fossils.
They’ve also got a classic ice cream parlor for which the park is now famous and an amazing collection of rocks, geodes and gems in their rock shop.
The Natural Stone Bridge and Cave’s summer season starts on May 20 when the park will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. In July and August, the park offers guided adventure tours that take guests spelunking through some of the deeper caves. It’s the perfect summer road trip diversion — off the beaten path and waiting to be discovered.