Touring the Incredible Woodward Cave in Centre County

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Located in the eastern corner of Centre County, PA, you’ll find Woodward Cave. While it’s not nearly as well known as its nearby neighbor, Penn’s Cave, this is a great spot for those who love exploring underground worlds.

Woodward Caverns is named after the nearby community of Woodward and has been open for tours since 1926.

The cave was created by Penn’s Creek, which used to flow through the limestone cave seasonally. This flow created a series of tunnels and large rooms that visitors can tour today.

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The entrance to Woodward Cave in Centre County PA
The entrance to Woodward Cave.

According to local lore, the cave was known by the Seneca Indians who would use it for everything from storing food to burying their dead. That being said, no evidence of dead bodies has yet been found in the cave, though there is evidence of campfires, so it likely was used by Native Americans at some point.

The large entrance to Woodward Caverns sits directly across from the small gift shop where you can buy tickets for guided tours. The area around the cave is a popular campground, especially for RVs.

The Hall of Statues in Woodward Cave in Central Pennsylvania
The Hall of Statues in Woodward Cave.
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Tours last about 50 minutes and take you through the cave’s main passages and into five large rooms.

Along the way, guides describe the cave’s many features, tell about its geology, and point out some imaginatively named rock formations. Make sure you don’t miss the fossilized shells that can be seen in the rock wall near the entrance.

Inside Woodward Cave in Pennsylvania
Woodward Cave reminded me a lot of Laurel Caverns.

Having toured many caves in Pennsylvania, I was most reminded of Laurel Caverns in southwestern PA while I was touring Woodward Cave. That’s because of the smooth rock walls and the absence of a ton of large stalactites and stalagmites in some rooms.

However, there are some cave formations here. In fact, Woodward Cave is home to the largest known stalagmite in Pennsylvania, known as the Tower of Babel.

Giant Stalagmite in Woodward Caverns in Centre County Pennsylvania
The Tower of Babel is the largest known stalagmite in PA.

There are also many of the other usual cave formations you can find in PA including cave bacon, ribbon, and flowstone. And, of course, there are cave formations that have been given unusual names over the years including the Liberty Bell, the Hanging Forest, and the Hall of Statues.

One of the most interesting aspects of Woodward Cave was the dead sections that you can find inside. These are places where the cave is no longer growing and the cracks in the rockface are no longer being healed. While it’s possible that other caves in PA have this feature, this was the only one I can recall where these areas were pointed out and explained.

Stalactite and stalagmite in Woodward Cave in Woodward PA
There’s a lot of beauty to be seen in Woodward Cave.

I also enjoyed the many large rooms that opened up throughout the cavern. It was really neat to walk into these very large spaces that were, in some cases, more than 100 feet underground.

Even more interesting, some had pieces of rock that had broken off many, many years ago and were left where they fell in the middle of the rooms. This sort of thing definitely reminded me that I was in an ever-changing world.

Building at Woodward Cave in Centre County Pennsylvania
A building outside of the cave.

Overall, I found Woodward Caverns to be incredibly interesting. Even if you’ve been to other caves in PA such as Indian Echo Caverns, Coral Caverns, or Lincoln Caverns, this is still a really neat spot to visit while you are travelings through central Pennsylvania.

Looking for more great spots to visit nearby? Check out the covered bridges of Union County, our favorite spots near State College, and the last remaining covered bridge in Clinton County.


Woodward Cave

Hours: 10a-4p
Operating days vary
Open mid-April to mid-October

Cost: Adults: $12, Children: $6

Website: WoodwardCave.com

Address: 148 Woodward Cave Dr
Woodward, PA 16882

 

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Map of the the Alleghenies"

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