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I was hoping that Tory's Cave was the type of cave where you can walk in standing up and explore huge rooms with dramatic rock formations.  Well it's not.  But Tory's Cave is an interesting little place. Not many people know about it, and there isn't anything like it in western Connecticut.  People go there for one reason...there's a cave (more like a tube) that goes down into the earth for about fifty feet and opens up to a "room" the size of large pickup truck.  The man who described the pickup sized room had is young son with him as did two other dads who brought their sons and daughter.  All these folks were having a ball...but I chickened out.

The cave is just big enough for an adult my size (6' 1", 170 lbs.) to squeeze into.  It basically stays that way all the way down according to the spelunkers I spoke with.  I had gotten my courage up to tackle my first "tight squeeze" cave and to put aside my fear when I saw a sign that read "Avoid bats". That sealed the deal for me.  I didn't go anywhere near them or the tunnel, for that matter.  I had visions of my flashlight going out, getting stuck have way down with no way to turn around, and having a bat land on my face.  Instead, I sat back and watched pint-sized spelunkers exploring an amazing world that caused them to scream and holler with excitement.  They were fearless and couldn't understand my apprehension. Fortunately, their fathers were more understanding and explained that the small cave system is actually a good little challenge that requires more than just a "no-fear" attitude.  It's cold, dark, muddy, slippery, and a bit physically demanding since most adults would have to do a lot of shimming and sliding to make it down and back.  I listened intently to their advice as to how to tackle a cave like this and resolved to try it again some other day. That hasn't happened yet.

Tory's Cave is well know to local spelunkers and is well maintained and monitored for safety.  In fact, I recently stopped in to take some photos and noticed one of the entrances had been boarded up.  Others have been filled in long ago to prevent any serious problems. Whether you intend to "spelunk" or just visit, Tory's cave is a cool place to add to you list of things seen. Do not go down into the cave by yourself without anyone there. And lamps/ropes are a good idea even though this isn't a huge cave. Just jumping down in there without telling anyone where you are or not really knowing what you're in for is a bad idea.

There is a blue trail that runs past the cave and is a nice hike but doesn't really offer much in terms of spectacular scenery. However, the blue trail is part of the Housatonic Range Trail that starts in Gaylordsville and heads up at Candlewood Mt. in New Milford. Housatonic Range Trail is just over 6 miles long and Tory's Cove is somewhat in the middle of that span.

Directions: Take Route 7 north out of New Milford center for about 3 miles at which point you'll pass the intersection of Rt. 37 west and Rt. 7 (stay on Rt 7 north).  A short distance later a gas station will be on your left and you'll notice Squash Hollow Road. (Squash Hollow is a semi-circle road that meets up again with Route 7. Don't take Squash Hollow Road). The parking lot for Tory's Cave is off Route 7 about a half mile passed the gas station. It's a dirt parking lot at an old quarry construction site (a recent visitor to the Tory updated us to the fact that a large crane can be seen from Route 7). It you're not familiar with the area, it doesn't even look like a parking lot or a place that you're allowed to turn into and park. No signs indicate you've reached Tory Cave. The footpath that leads up to the cave is to the extreme left of this dirt parking lot. You may have to look carefully but it goes up and into the woods. Tory's Cave is about 100 yards into the woods.  Rt. 7 is full of sharp turns and curves so proceed slowly. (If you see the second street sign up the for Squash Hollow Road, you've gone to far. If confused go up to Gaylordsville and ask...or go back to the gas station and ask.)

© Berkshire Hiking 2004