Explore Crystal Cave where…

As May 25th marked a monumental 145 year anniversary for one of the area’s top natural wonders, Crystal Cave, Kathy Campbell delves into the depths of history sharing how this Kutztown landmark came to be.

The year was 1872. Eager explorers arrived for the formal opening and illumination of The Crystal Cave. In order for tourists to catch a glimpse of Pennsylania’s first show cave, visitors paid a twenty-five cent admission, then carried a torch and spare supply of candles and entered the dark cavern.

In time…trains, trolleys and stagecoaches brought travelers for overnight stays at the Cave Hotel but ceased when day trips triumphed. Electricity offered alternate illumination dowsing candles, torches and kerosene lanterns; with cement stairs replacing wooden ladders adding new walk…ways around the cave.

After five decades, the Kohler family sold Crystal Cave to its current owners in 1923 who incorporated as Crystal Cave Company, Inc. An above ground expansion was established in the late 1960’s with movies added to tour experiences. An ice cream parlor, museum and nature trail; soon joined picnic facilities, panning for gemstones and souvenir shops to make the stop a day tripper’s paradise.

Though we’ve touched upon the cave’s exterior evolution, what hasn’t changed is its interior charm. With a passage of merely 1785 feet, Crystal Cave is not as large as some of the other caves that have remained in their natural stage; forming an advantage of beautiful formations and greater concentration of dripstone.

Conservation in mind, Campbell vows intentions remain to preserve and protect this natural wonder reasoning, “In order to provide enjoyment and entertainment to tourists for generations to come.”

More than 5 million people have explored Crystal Cave. With extended hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily now through November, a summer institution for a family fun solution close by just comes naturally.

Crystal Cave

Between Allentown & Reading near Route 222

963 Crystal Cave Road in Kutztown