Alan Traino Preserve


The Alan Traino Preserve is a karst preserve in Albany County, NY. There are two known caves on the preserve: Slingerlands Hellhole and George's Surprise. These two insurgence caves contain an estimated 2,100 feet of passages and have a voice connection between them. The caves are part of the insurgence complex for the Chatter-Stone-Hole System.

Slingerland's Hellhole is the longer of the two caves with about 1450 feet of passage. The entrance to the cave is in a slot in a sinkhole with a small stream. After a 15 ft climbdown into the entrance, there is a wet section with a low ceiling. After 50 feet there will start to be more headroom, with low standing passage, stoopwalks, crawls, and a decorated flowstone hall ahead. There are several sections with delicate rimstone and speleothems - cave softly to avoid damaging these delicate formations.

George's surprise is the other small cave of note and isn't far from the Slingerland's entrance, a few minutes to the south. If you are inclined to go through both caves, consider going to George's Surprise first as it is the smaller and often less wet. A trip through both caves may get easier soon!

For more information about the cave and instructions on how to visit the preserve, please contact the preserve manager at

Special use groups such as summer camps, church groups, scouts, and school groups are asked to contact the NCC special use coordinators to schedule trips into the caves.

  • Minimum group size is 3
  • All persons entering the caves 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.
  • Slingerlands Hellhole and George's Surprise must be treated as unique natural resources, and nothing should be taken out of the caves 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.
  • 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