Coudersport, PA – May 2018 – Ice Mine

In the small north central Pennsylvania mountain town of Coudersport is a cool (literally) little tourist attraction known as the Ice Mine.

Technically it is not a mine, it is a small cave that due to some unique geothermal reasons cold air gets trapped in the mountain during the winter. Once summer comes the cold air begins to expel the warm air, causing ice on the moisture that seeps into the mountain.

2018 05 25 132 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg

 

 

 

It had been a tourist attraction up until the 1960s when it closed, but has recently been re-opened.

2018 05 25 133 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg

 

 

We showed up because of a huge sign in town saying ‘Ice Mine is Open’, but as we arrived we found that it was supposed to open the next morning as we were met with a sign that said ‘closed’. Still I drove up.

We did however have the good fortune of meeting Gary, the owner, who was more than happy to show us around.

2018 05 25 136 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg

 

 

 

 

Sure enough on this 85 degree day ice was pushing up out of the ‘mine’, and the air temperature near it was about 45 degrees.

2018 05 25 137 Coudersport PA Ice Mine

 

 

 

The ‘mine’ is at the bottom of a 17′ pit, and goes down another 17′ into the ground. As a result of the perpetually cold environment the moss and other growth in the pit is more similar to Northern Ontario than Northern Pennsylvania.

2018 05 25 138 Coudersport PA Ice Mine

 

 

 

While not the most impressive sight around, it is still a very ‘cool’ experience, and Gary is a great guy who is proud of his hometown, and would welcome a visit – they are indeed now open for the summer. If you find yourself driving across historic U.S. 6 across northern Pennsylvania – go see him. And if you want to know more detail on how ice can form in the summer check out the wiki page

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coudersport_Ice_Mine

2018 05 25 140 Coudersport PA Ice Mine.jpg

 

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