MAKC Acquiring McClure Cave, Snyder County, Pennsylvania

On Saturday, June 5, 2021, MAKC Treasurer Johnny Motto and member Rick Smith met with the owner of McClure Cave, Dori McKnight, who lives in a house right next to the cave parcel, and they signed an agreement of sale for the MAKC to purchase this Snyder County Cave. The cave is listed at as the 31st longest cave in Pennsylvania. Welcome to the MAKC Family of Caves, McClure!

Now, we haven’t yet closed on the property, but we have made a $1,000 down payment. We await the results of a survey to determine the boundaries of the parcel, as well as an easement from Dori McKnight’s other property in order to access the cave. So, there are still some things to work out, as well as some money to raise.

The selling price is $11,250. We will have some additional expenses such as the survey of the land, title search, closing fees and development of an on-site parking area, not quite as big as the one we just installed at our new Penn Aqua Preserve, but enough so that cavers can drive in and park and have some privacy in order to change clothes while visiting the cave. Thus, our new McClure Madness Campaign will seek to raise $18,000. A sponsor a spot on the preserve will, like Penn Aqua, be $100. This can be combined with another donor’s spot. The four spots closest to the entrance will be $1,000 each. There are only 144 spots, however, so get yours now!

Mad For McClure… Seriously Mad

Rick Smith, the MAKC member who is spearheading this project, and who will be the preserve manager when the closing is completed, writes of McClure Cave’s more recent history:

“The access to this cave has only been open in the last few years thanks to the present owner. Twenty years prior though, the previous landowner was not caver-friendly and tried to purposely blast the cave shut. Fearful of liability of the numerous people who had continually trespassed to access the cave entrance, the owner reached out to Nittany Grotto, Inc. for assistance. Paul Winter and I worked with Dori to have the cave gated and maintained by Nittany Grotto. For the last four years, as a representative of Nittany Grotto, Inc. I have maintained landowner relations and kept in close contact with the owner to preserve our access while she continues to own the property. If she were to pass away or cease owning the land for any reason, new landowner relations would need to be re-established and everything we have set up now for the continued access to this cave could be lost. With MAKC purchasing the land access can continue to be guaranteed to all cavers and persons who study or educate others in the interest of caving into the foreseeable future. Entrusting McClure Cave to MAKC, we can go to sleep each night knowing that we are continuing to preserve the Article II—Purpose of the MAKC Constitution.”

Look to our website as a management plan is developed for access. And support us with renewing your membership and an additional donation if you are able. We can only do what we do with your help! Thank you for your support, in the past, now and in the future.


We’ve are continuing our sponsor a spot on the preserve with our McClure Cave Preserve acquisition. We don’t yet have a “sponsor a spot” map because we are awaiting the completion of a survey. The four spots closest to the entrance will be $1000. The rest will be $100 each. There are only 144 spots. Rick Smith, local caver, is the preserve manager and could always use some help. Our sponsorship spots will help fund the acquisition as well as pay for the survey and title search and legal fees, as well as any cost of a driveway or parking area. Anyone interested in helping with projects at the preserve should contact Rick at