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Harlansburg Cave - Harlansburg PA

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In the fall of 1950 road crews were blasting rock to open a new stretch of Route 108 just east of Harlansburg. They soon encountered trouble as they unearthed a series of openings in the limestone layer underneath the ground. Experts were called in and determined that the new highway was basically cut through the middle of an extensive cave complex – the largest in Pennsylvania. Thousands of curious people flocked to the site and the Harlansburg Cave became national news when a search party rescued three lost explorers on October 23, 1950. The cave was ordered off-limits but people continued to sneak in. Several more explorers had to be rescued in July 1966 before the cave entrances were sealed with concrete. The cave was re-opened a decade later and experts were able to map out most of the southern portion. The northern portion is considered unstable and has not been fully mapped. In late 2002 the Mid-Atlantic Karsk Conservancy (MRAC) began leasing the property with a plan to clean, preserve, and study the cave. Gates were soon installed over the entrances and access has been regulated ever since. (2014)


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