New Brunswick Cave Names

While there has been no continuing caving organization or group in New Brunswick there have been several different groups work independently. Which when coupled with the fact that they publish in two different languages in many different places it has lead to some confusion. There was exploration by a group from Saint John under the leadership of Don McAlpine from the New Brunswick Museum in the 1970's while at the same time the Nova Scotia Speleological Society was exploring in the Province. Then there was a major effort by the Caledocadie Caving Club in the 1980's in the southern section. The rest of the exploration of the region has come from people passing through the area. Currently cave tours are being lead in the Fundy region to several of the caves. In the description of each cave the first name is the one most commonly used and recognized by the local people.

The first cave of confusion is called Shaft Cave which is found in McAlpine's list (7) and also found on one of Arseneault's maps without a name (1). This small limestone cave is found in Berryton. The cave entrance is a small round hole in what appears to be a large rock that drops vertically for almost 12 meters. While it is small it does have several small side passages giving the cave a length of 12.9 meters. There is a excellent detailed map that has been published of the cave by Don McAlpine(6). The Shaft Cave is found very near the entrance to Berryton Cave and is named after it appearance as a shaft in the forest floor.

Outside of Saint John near Howe's Lake is found a Howe's Cave which has gone by several names Howe's Cave, Howe's Lake Cave, and Oliver's Cave (2). This is a limestone cave that is about 80 meters long and 13 meters deep. The cave has a funnel shaped entrance with a steeply dipping passage with one long right hand chamber. The cave contains well developed scallops and has been heavily vandalized. The cave has dates going back to 1730 (2). In 1842 the entrance was blocked and was reopened in the 1860's by a man named Oliver looking for hidden treasure(2). There is an excellent map done by Don McAlpine found in the Canadian Caver supplement (9). The cave is known as Howe's Caves locally which is named after the lake.

In the hill southeast of Waterford is the Glebe Pot. The Glebe Pot goes locally by the name Garbage Pit and is found by driving until you find a large pile of trash. The pit is found just behind the trash pile. The name garbage pit is also the name of another cave found in the Hammondvale area (8) west of Kitt's Cave. The pit was found in the spring of 1975 by the Proctor's from the NSSS. This is a limestone pit found in the back of a sink dropping down 12.5 meter in two stages and then north for a total of 15.2 meters. The entrance is small but quickly opens never becoming extremely large. There is a large amount of trash on the floor of the first drop but no smell. The area where the cave is found is locally known as the Glebe which also contains the Glebe Pit and Glebe Mine. While I suspect the term pot come from the English background of the NSSS members. There are good quality maps of Glebe Pot, Glebe Pit and Glebe Mine done by Don McAlpine (10).

In Albert County west of the village of Hillsborough you will find the White Caves. These two caves are part of one system, which contain a number of other sinks and collapsed sections of an underground stream. These are gypsum caves located just south of a large exposure white gypsum from an old mining operation giving them their name. The first of the two major sections of the cave is an entrance in the side of a large sink going through a small passage into a very large room. The 105 meter passage ending in a breakdown room with a limestone floor on the far side that is doted with black Alberite and has been called Bat Cave (7) in the past. The other section of the cave was finally push to within a few meter of the first cave in 1995 by Mark Daoust and Sylvain Dansereau (1). The first 120 meters of the cave is easily explored while the rest is currently plugged with mud and sand. The entrance is found in the side of a sink and has a stream running down the center into a crack in the far wall. This section has been reported as Gypsum Cave (7) in the past. The White Caves are a system and the name is well know in the area and the name White Caves are even used by the NB Department of Tourism as an adventure vacation destination. The cave show some wear from the tour visits, mostly candles but are fairly clean. The Caledocadie Caving Club has produced an excellent maps including surface feature (1) of the area.

Berryton Cave is found on the side of Stewart Ridge west of Turtle Brook in Berryton. The cave has gone be a number of different names: Berryton Cave(1), Turtle Brook Cave (7), Stewart Cave (3) and Stuart Cave(5). The name Turtle Brook Cave is after the stream near where the cave is found while Stewart Ridge is the name of the location. There are a number of other caves found in the area many which don't have names. Berryton cave is the name that is used by the group leading wild tours to the caves. There is a well worn path to the cave which is found high on the side of a hill overlooking the brook. This 332 meter limestone cave has a narrow vertical entrance in the side of the hill leading to a very steep floor. The cave is narrow and quite high with several nice side passages. There are several maps of the cave but the one done by the Caledocadie Caving Club (1) includes the cave map, a surface map and location of Shaft Cave.

Golem's Grotto is a limestone cave found along the Parlee Brook Road. The cave is not open to exploration but is one of the more interesting caves in New Brunswick with the potential for being its longest. The cave has been most commonly called Parlee Brook Cave (7,9) and has been worked on in the past (4). It has a high volume stream running in part of the cave which drains a large valley. It resurgence is called Purtle Spring which is a high volume spring entering the stream near the road. The cave is not known to the locals and exploration has not been allowed for a number of years. The water from the spring has been used to supply a cold water fishery of Arctic Char which the owner raises for market. But the cave has been explored and the owner someday hopes to use it as a attraction for the area. Samual Arseneault from the Caledocadie Caving Club has measured and mapped the cave to a current length of 78 meters while a rough cave and area surface map done by Max Moseley (4) has been published.

Acadian Rift is sometimes known as the Acadia Cavern and can be found along the shore in Fundy National Park. These caves are tectonic rift caves that have formed in sandstone and have been measured to a depth of 25 meters and reported to be 50 meters or more deep(7). The 100 meters layer of sandstone sits on top of shale near the coast. In between the two layer water flows year round which has allowed the sandstone to split and slide slowly into the ocean. While the park does not encourage underground exploration there is a walkway around these vertical caves with interpretive signs. The caves can be found in two places. They are most impressive along the Coastal Trail between Herring Cove and the swimming pool. Here they appear as large holes or pits along both sides of the trail. But they are viewed close-up and explained both geological and mythically along the 1.5 km Devil's Half Acre trail. These caves can also be visited and explored on a much smaller scale at The Rock's Provincial Park in Hillsborough.

While New Brunswick does not have a large number of caves or even caves that are very long they do have cave. Many of these caves have a long history or some unique geological feature that make them well worth visiting.

(1) Arseneault, S.P., Schroeder,J., Berube, D., and Albert,R. 1997. The Caves of Southwestern New Brunswick. New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy Open File 97-7.

(2) Breisch, R. 1971. Caves in New Brunswick. Nittany Grotto News 19-4.

(3) Majka, M. 1979. Sterwart Ridge Cave. New Brunswick Naturalist Number 9.

(4) Moseley, M. 1975. New Brunswick 1975. Nova Scotia Speleological Bulletin N/L No 6.

(5) Moseley, M. 1998. Personal Email communication on June 17, 1998.

(6) McAlpine, D. 1982. Map Surveys of New Brunswick Solution Caves. Canadian Caver 14.

(7) McAlpine, Don, 1983. Status and Conservation of Solution Caves in New Brunswick. The New Brunswick Museum.

(8) Richings, G. 1975. New Brunswick 1974. Nova Scotia Speleological Bulletin N/L No 4.

(9) Thompson, P. 1976. Cave Exploration in Canada. University of Alberta/Canadian Caver.

(10) Withers, F. 1961. Bats, Water, Mud No Bar to Callers. The Telegraph Journal (January 3).

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This page created November 3, 1998.

Updated 18-Nov-1998.