Squaw Cave

Useful Information

Location: Bolton Notch State Park, east of Hartford, at the I-384. From the Notch parking area walk east along the Hop River Linear Trail. At dark tunnel under Route 6/44, trail left to the top of the tunnel and a grassy area along Route 44. At speed limit sign take trail straight up the cliff to the cave.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave. Ordovician marble
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=4 m.
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Squaw Cave was named after the legend of squaw Wunneeneetmah or Wunnee. She was married to a Dutchman named Peter Hager, who was accused of chopping wood on Sabbath. He was outlawed and ran away with his wife into the wood. They lived in this cave, but finally they were discovered and he was shot here, in the presence of his wife.

This is a pretty small cave, only four meters long, but it is one of the very few caves of Connecticut and the only one we listed. This New England state in the centre of the Appalachian mountains has a geology which does not allow the formation of karst caves. The rocks are insoluble metamorphic rocks, and except a few small marble outcrops there is no soluble rock at all. This is one of the marble areas, originally limestone which was deposited during the Ordovician period in a shallow and oxygene rich a sea between the North American continent and a volcanic island arc to the east. The sedimentary and volcanic rocks deposited into this sea were later transformed into metamorphites during the Appalachian orogeny.

Actually Squaw cave would be too small for a cave register if it was in another state or country, but in Connecticut it is exceptional. The marble of this area is karstified, but because of the low relief and the high ground water level there are no accessible caves. The marble was once quarried, nearby the Quarry Road turns off, which is a remider of this time.