SELLECKS KARST PRESERVE

SELLECKS KARST PRESERVE

Sellecks Karst Preserve is located off of Kniskern Road in the town of Carlisle in Schoharie County, New York. The preserve was purchased by the NCC in 2002 and contains about 15 acres of land and four known caves.

The largest of the caves is Sellecks Cave with approximately 1000 feet of passage. The entrance to the cave is in an impressive sinkhole and opens into a large room at the base of a twenty foot entrance drop. The drop is not climbable and requires vertical gear to enter and exit the cave. At the center of the room a stream cuts through the cave which has been dye traced to the Northwest Passage in nearby McFails Cave. This stream quickly sumps

upstream but has been dove approximately 700 feet. Heading downstream the stream disappears through inaccessible cracks.

Levys Cave is a small stream insurgence cave which takes large amounts of water during the spring. The cave is about 200 feet long and has a twelve foot drop inside the cave that requires a rope or cable ladder.

Cave 575 is a small pit cave with a 15 foot entrance drop requiring a rope. Once inside the cave the rest of the cave can be accessed by climbing. The cave is notable for the impressive display of fossils in the walls.

The fourth cave on the property is Natural Bridge Cave, a small natural bridge of limestone at the bottom of a large sinkhole.

Access to the caves requires no special permission for regular vistors. Special use groups such as summer camps, church groups, and school groups are asked to contact the NCC special use coordinators to schedule trips into the cave. Due to the vertical nature and size of the caves, none of the caves on the Sellecks Preserve are recommended for special use groups.

Visitors are asked to sign in and out at the register near the parking area. During the winter, please do not visit Sellecks Cave if ice is present on the walls of the sinkhole. For all caves, except Natural Bridge which is only 5 feet long, standard caving gear is required.

This includes:

  • Helmet with a chinstrap.
  • Three (3) sources of light, one of which is mounted to the helmet.
  • At least 3 people in the party.
  • 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.
  • Special Use Groups: Insurance or certificate thereof may be required for private groups such as schools, camps, and scouts. A waiver of liability form must be signed for each and every minor by parents. Groups such as the Boy Scouts will be required to show proof that they are complying with their own rules regarding caving.