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Tytoona Cave in Sinking Valley, Blair County, Pennsylvania

Tytoona Cave, Pennsylvania
A lesser known natural sight in Central Pennsylvania, with an interesting history, is Tytoona Cave in Sinking Valley. It's one of the newer nature preserves in the region. It is officially known as the Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve and is owned by the Huntingdon County chapter of the National Speleological Society after being bought on December 23, 1997 from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The size of the preserve is around 7 acres. 

On the Tytoona Cave's history, it was first described in maps and writings in 1788. One of the earliest stories is of soldiers chasing a few Native American men (who'd just attacked settlers) until they escaped into the cave, causing the soldiers not to follow them. In the 1947 and 1972 there were attempts to turn it into an attraction but nature didn't play along all that well and hurt these developments. The 1972 attempt was the last time anyone tried to commercialize the site.

Regardless of how the cave entrance appears in photos, it's actually quite big. Depending on the time of the year you'll be able to enter the cave and walk a ways in without getting wet. Though it's recommended that you pay attention to every step you take when going inside, for your own safety. Also, don't venture too far in unless you're a professional and never enter the water unless you have diving gear. Tytoona is dangerous and has even claimed the lives of experienced cave explorers, including one in the mid-80s.

The exit is nearly a mile down, at Arch Spring, and is located on private property. So viewing from that side will require permission from the landowner and entry may or may not be possible through the Arch Spring side due to past logjams.

For those interested in visiting Tytoona Cave, there's an opportunity to inspire visitors to learn about the cave and its history. It's a great natural sight to visit and will appeal to everyone, of any age. The entrance to the cave itself is unlike most caves elsewhere in the state and around the country. You can also volunteer to help take care of the cave, its grounds, and help in keeping them clean. They've had problems with vandalism, spray-painting, in the past and some of these volunteers also help keep vandals and "partiers" out.

Learn more about the Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve:

Tytoona Cave: a New NSS Nature Preserve by Garrett Czmor
Tytoona Cave on oocities (archived GeoCities pages)
Tytoona Cave Preserve: A NSS Cave Preserve
Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve
Flickr Photos of Tytoona Cave