The Knox Cave Preserve is in Albany County NY and has been owned by the Northeastern Cave Conservancy (NCC) since 1979.

There are two known caves on the property. Knox Cave, known since at least 1787 and commercialized from 1933 to 1958, is one of the most visited caves in the northeast. Crossbones Cave was discovered by digging in the "New Sink" in early 2000 and is an advanced vertical cave.

Visitors to the Knox Cave Preserve are required to obtain a permit and to follow the guidelines listed below. Visitors who fail to obtain a permit or abide by these guidelines are considered to be trespassing and are subject to arrest.

The permit is available from the property managers via fax, standard mail, or electronic mail and will be printed on NCC letterhead. The parking pass should be clearly displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle. Vehicles must park in the designated parking area where the eastern right-of-way meets Knox Cave Road . Vehicles not displaying the parking pass may be towed at the owners' expense.

  • Minimum group size is 3. In special circumstances, permission will be granted to 2 individuals.
  • All persons entering the cave must have at least the following minimum equipment: helmet with a chin strap; three (3) sources of light, one of which must be helmet mounted; and knee pads.
  • Cave exploration and hiking on karst terrain may involve risk or injury, even death from various hazards, both obvious and obscure, including, but not limited to, slippery and uneven ground, open pits, injury by acts of other people, falling, being struck by falling objects, becoming lost, the presence or sudden appearance of water, and hypothermia. All cave visitors are expected to abide by the normally accepted rules of safe and conservation minded caving as outlined by the National Speleological Society, 6001 Pulaski Pike, Huntsville, Alabama 35810-1122.
  • Knox Cave must be treated as a unique natural resource, and nothing should be taken out of the cave except trash.
  • All work projects must be clearly defined and authorized beforehand.
  • Each group is expected to clean up any trash in the cave or on the property.
  • For access to Crossbones Cave, all individuals must also be familiar with vertical caving techniques and have suitable vertical gear.
  • Special Use Groups: Insurance or certificate thereof may be required for private groups such as schools, camps, and scouts. Groups such as the Boy Scouts will be required to show proof that they are complying with their own rules regarding caving.
  • Follow US Fish and Wildlife's decontamination procedures for WNS
Periods of Access

Knox Cave is closed from October 1st until May 15th or when the sinkhole is ice-free, whichever comes later. This refers to all ice, not just ice on the wall of the sink, and is for the safety of visitors as well as to protect hibernating bats. Crossbones Cave is closed from October 1st until May 1st.

Crossbones Cave is a vertical cave. All cavers must have their own equipment for descending and ascending. Rope adequate for rigging the entrance drop will be required.

To obtain a Knox permit or if you have questions about this preserve, please contact the preserve manager at