Franklin County Grotto

Spring MAR

Registration now live for the spring Mid Appalachian Region of the NSS field meet !!!  Check this web site often for updates.

May 5-7 

Shade Gap, PA

Spring MAR Registration

Please fill in the information if you are planning on attending the event. This gives us a head count, so we can try to have a correct number of meals ready for everyone.

** While we will attempt to accommodate all hungry cavers, only those who pre-register on or before the April 14th deadline will be guaranteed a meal Saturday evening.

If you wish to print out, fill in, and mail in a registration form, use this link.


Site & Meal Info

Location:  Harper’s Memorial Park. 11880 Neelyton Rd, Shade Gap, PA 17255

Registration:  Pre-registration price is $35 for adults and $15 for children 6-12. Children under 6 are free.  To qualify for the pre-registration price, registrations must be post marked by April 14th, 2023.

On-site registration is $40 for adults and $20 for children 6-12.  On-site registration and check-in opens at noon on Friday, May 5th.

Camping:  Ample space for tents and vehicles available.  Bathrooms and showers are also available on site.

A limited number of centrally located RV sites will be available at an extra $25/night charge. These sites are also available (first come, first served) for car or tent campers who wish to pay the additional fee. RV site reservations must be made separately from the Spring MAR event by contacting the Harper’s Memorial Park campground.  Contact information will be provided once the campground opens in April. 

Alcohol:  BYOB to be discreetly consumed.

Camp Fires:  No individual campfires will be permitted in the camping areas.  There will be a bon fire centrally located in the event area for all to enjoy!

Dogs:  Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome.  You MUST clean up after your pets.  Pets must be kept on a leash and restrained at all times.

Saturday Dinner:  The Saturday evening meal will feature a Shade Gap fire house favorite of bbq chicken, sides, and dessert.  A vegetarian option is available upon request on the pre-registration form. 

** While we will attempt to accommodate all hungry cavers, only those who pre-register on or before the April 14th deadline will be guaranteed a meal

Sunday Breakfast:  The Pennsylvania Cave Conservancy (PCC) will offer a fundraising breakfast on Sunday morning.  Tickets are $5 and the menu includes pancakes hot off the griddle, sausage, coffee, and orange juice.

Quesions? contact



Bring your Vert-gear, Wetsuit, Caving-gear, and non-caving friends/family.

Bring your Vert-gear! – not only will there be a few vertical-trips, but “The Gauntlet” will have an ‘Alpine SRT Ropes Course’ setup for you to test(improve? 😉 your vertical-skills!

Bring your Wetsuit! – we’ll have up to four wetsuit-cave trips planned!

Bring your Caving-gear! – we’ll have cave trips to suit EVERYONE – from beginner to advanced – and enough trips that everyone will have plenty of choices!

Bring your non-caver friends/family! – several trips will be available to local natural-attractions for those that’d rather spend the day above-ground

Gauntlet Ropes Course! – test your vertical skills on this elaborate ropes course!  Fun for all skill levels!  A donation bucket will be available so please consider making a contribution to help offset the riggers’ costs and wear and tear on the equipment!


Evening Program: Corey Hackley will regale us with tales and photos of his Caving Adventures! – presentation after dinner on Saturday!

DJ: DJ Tommy Carpenter will be on site to entertain, spinning tunes into the night.

Cave Trips

List of the Caves, Schedules, and Times

**Cave trips at the MAR are a great way to see caves you’re unfamiliar with or may only be open for limited access. Here’s a portion of some of the caves that will have led trips, or open access during the MAR Field Meet. Stay tuned as more trips and caves will be added soon!

Led Trips:
1. Kooken Cave
2. Penn Aqua Cave – Bring your wetsuit!
3. Rupert Cave – New Section
4. Fantasy Cave – Details being worked out now, watch for updates!
5. Corker Hill Cave – Details being worked out now, watch for updates!
6. Frustration Pit Cave – Details being worked out now, watch for updates!
7.  Black Coffey Caverns – formerly known as Baker Caverns

Open (Self-led) Cave Trips:
1.  Rupert – Historic Section
2.  Hall Cave
3.  Tytoona Cave
4.  Black Coffey Caverns – formerly known as Baker Caverns

** Watch for more caves trips being added soon!

The MAR staff strongly suggests a sign out/sign in process with the staff if you won’t have someone aboveground if you’re delayed.

Conservation Project:
This MAR will be partnering with the PCC to organize a conservation project at the NSS Tytoona Cave Preserve.  Activities will include tidying up the parking area, kiosks and entrance at the Preserve.  Additional details coming soon!