Howes Cave, N.Y. - This year marks the 170th anniversary of the discovery of the northeast's great cave, Howe Caverns, by local farmer Lester Howe in 1842. And since his find all those years ago, the cave has welcomed nearly 17 million people on journeys to discover this underground world. "It's very fitting that in this anniversary year, Howe Caverns is growing again and the cave will be the most unique feature in what will be known as Howe Caverns Adventure Park," said General Manager Robert Holt. The evolution of Schoharie County's landmark attraction began in 2011 with the addition of Howe High Adventure -- the above-ground world featuring a four-tower zip line and a ropes course. "In 2012, we'll be adding even more outdoor attractions including a bungee trampoline, a 26-foot rock climbing wall and New York State's first and the longest in the Northeast course for OGO Balls," Mr. Holt said. The new features should be open in time for the Caverns celebration of Discovery Days -- May 25-28. These special days recognize the date on which Lester Howe discovered the cave and when the cave reopened to the public in 1929. Also ready for the 2012 season is an all-weather, 6,000-square-foot Gem & Mining Building, complete with a rock shop and opportunities to pan like miners of old for gemstones, fossils and arrowheads. "The 250-seat picnic pavilion also will be open," said Mr. Holt. The concept behind the expansion is to enable visitors to have many ways to enjoy and to challenge themselves while spending the day. "We're changing to meet the public's interest in fitness and recreational opportunities. So, whether it's high in the air -- with a bungee or zip ride -- or deep in the earth while touring the cave, Howe Caverns is growing to be New York's coolest getaway," said Mr. Holt. Guests will have a variety of options from which to choose: Tickets for the Cavern tour only, tickets for individual attractions at Howe High Adventure, a ticket to enjoy all of the features at Howe High Adventure or a season pass to Howe High Adventure. "These options," said Mr. Holt, "will be available when buying tickets in person or, starting soon, online at our website, http://www.howecaverns.com/." Special group rates are available by calling 518-296-8900. About Howe Caverns Adventure Park Howe Caverns is the largest cave open to the public in the Northeast and is located midway between Albany and Cooperstown, off Exit 22 of I-88. Open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas days when it is closed, Howe Caverns' winter hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November 1 through March 31. Summer hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 pm from April 1 through October. Howe High Adventure -- an outdoor recreation area on the Howe Caverns estate -- opened in the summer of 2011 and features a four-tower zip line and a ropes course. New attractions including a bungee trampoline, a rock climbing wall and OGO Balls, as well as a Gem & Mining Building and picnic pavilion, are scheduled to open in spring 2012. For more information, visit http://www.howecaverns.com/ or call 518-296-8900.
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