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 Post subject: Most accessible underground feature?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY
Of all the mines and caves in southeastern NY, which one do you think is the easiest to access for a first time exploration? I have already explored most of the drains and sewers of Rochester, and am familiar with the underground environment. However it seems like researching these mines from 200+ miles away its hard to tell which ones are 10 feet long and boring, and which ones go on 1000 feet into a mountain side. I don't care if it's something that every mine explorer ever has seen, I don't want a tourist trap like Howe caverns but I'm not looking for some little known treasure either.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 2:14 am
Posts: 551
Location: Binghamton, NY
Hi there. New member? I'm not a moderator but I've been around the block a little bit with the coal guys, so I think it's OK to step up and let you know a bit about how this works, because a lot of us have met on these sites and became friends and I think we'd all like you to have that opportunity as well.

No one here is going to tell you where to access a mine for a variety of reasons. #1 is liability. #2 is personal safety for you, because no one can verify your experience on a web site and we don't want anyone to get hurt. And #3 is no one wants to be the one to publicly tell you where to break the law.

That said, a good way to get to know the guys is on one of the tours. Personally I started volunteering down the No.9 mine and met both coal and the iron guys. It's a long drive for you, it is for me too. Being around on group events lets everyone get to know you. Hopefully we'll see you on one of the tours or for a work day. You can learn a lot.

Someone from the forum may PM you as well, and invite you along on a legal trip somewhere in the area you're interested in.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY
I don't care about knowing the exact location, just the name of the place and what state it's in would be more than enough, I'm a college student and have access to about 150 years of NY state mining records in my school's engineering library. I was looking for a small, safe, legal mine in a state park or forest land, preferably the Adirondacks or Catskills but I'd take something close to Rochester too. Maybe even a tour if it isn't quite as much of a whored out tourist trap as Howe Caverns was when I saw it about 10 years ago (and I can't imagine it's any better now). I've heard a lot about some small natural caves around Harrisville and Lake Bonaparte, Lewis county, and Akron, Genesee county, as well as a mine that is open to the public for a few hours a day in Rosendale, Ulster county. Assuming it is correct that these are completely legal do you know anything about those?


Last edited by bfinan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY
And also going to the area clueless and just poking around isn't an option, I don't have access to a car and the person in my group who would be driving us to the mines basically said whatever the place is has to provide pretty much immediate results, so something vague like just wander around Harriman state park until I see a hole in the ground won't help me much, what I am actually looking for is either a public mine/cave tour or preferably a public but self-guided site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 2:14 am
Posts: 551
Location: Binghamton, NY
I see, let me think. Someone posted up something behind a place called "Buttermilk Falls" but it wasn't the one near Ithaca. I think it's in the Kigston NY area, but I want to think it may also be near Hunter mountain. Let me see if I can find the post.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 2:14 am
Posts: 551
Location: Binghamton, NY
http://www.ironminers.com/mineforum/vie ... 2e8a922931

OK, here's the link in this site. I don't know if it'll work but you can just copy and paste it into your browser and it should. I do not know for sure where this is, but I suspect it's in your geographic region.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/289952 ... 624606669/

Here's another link, confirms it. It's probably in the Buttermilk Falls State Park, my impression is the adit has track in it and is 300 feet long. We have very dry conditions upstate now, if the same goes for down there then it looks like this is an ideal time to go and exactly what you are looking for. Happy hunting!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
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Location: Rochester, NY
Thanks, that's a good start; the Buttermilk Falls state park is actually around Ithaca, I was right by there today going to some brewery tastings. Which means that the state park is not in Orange county, and does not contain the mine.

I'm not sure if this is helpful to anyone but I also happened to find an abandoned salt mine off route 14 in Nimrod (north of Watkins Glen) with 3 or 4 buildings and some tall square silos. Wasn't able to look for a way underground, but maybe someone else with the resources to do so could eventually.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:31 am 
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Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 2:16 pm
Posts: 1501
Location: Central Ohio
Been in the area before.....been underground at the active Cayuga salt mine ....the salt bed is so deep there is no way to access unless it was an active mine.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY
That being said I think the site looks worthwhile just for its abandoned buildings, even if there is no way down.

I found references to a few other mines in state parks, including the Bull, Cranberry and Sterling mines, but also saw that the state is in the process of "reclaiming" them, presumably by refilling them with dirt and/or water. Are any of those still around, or has this process been completed already?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 2:14 am
Posts: 551
Location: Binghamton, NY
Not the Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, there are millions of Buttermilk Falls. Ithaca is the most famous in upstate. The one I am referencing is in Spring Glen, NY. I have never been there but I do believe it is closer to you than Ithaca is for sure. Check out the links, there's a few pics.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
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Location: Rochester, NY
Spring Glen is actually much farther from me, Ithaca is about 80 miles and Orange county closer to 300 miles away. But there are no mines upstate so I had to look out that way.

And Buttermilk Falls state park is definitely right outside of Ithaca. So either you have the wrong name of the park, or the Buttermilk Falls mine isn't actually in a state park.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY
I found one in Rochester within biking distance of where I live. It began as an underground spring, and was expanded in the 1870s to drain a wetland and creek in the then-agricultural north part of the city. And yes, for a brief time in 1874, it was used as a mine. No ore was found, but the resulting gravel and rock fill from blasting out 2000 feet of tunnel formed many of the city's early roads.

My photos from the exploration:
http://billfinan.smugmug.com/Exploring/ ... 03_J3VMsFd

How similar does this look to an actual mine exploration experience? Am I still missing out or is this close enough to what I would have found in one of your downstate mines?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 2:14 am
Posts: 551
Location: Binghamton, NY
Buttermilk State Park is outside Ithaca, I have been there. The Buttermilk Falls, of which there are more than one just like there is more than one "Springfield" is in the other park, Spring Glen, that's the one with the mine. I thought you were looking down state because you were not in Rochester now, you asked for Southeastern NY. So that's what I researched in our archives.

2 Buttermilk Falls. One in Ithaca, one in Spring Glen. Ithaca, no mine. Spring Glen, mine.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY
johnr wrote:
Buttermilk State Park is outside Ithaca, I have been there. The Buttermilk Falls, of which there are more than one just like there is more than one "Springfield" is in the other park, Spring Glen, that's the one with the mine. I thought you were looking down state because you were not in Rochester now, you asked for Southeastern NY. So that's what I researched in our archives.

2 Buttermilk Falls. One in Ithaca, one in Spring Glen. Ithaca, no mine. Spring Glen, mine.


I asked for southeast because it was the closest place I knew of that had mines. Finding one 6 miles from me was a total bonus. And probably doesn't "officially" count as a mine because its output was only incidental in creating the tunnel, although it was used.


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