Sunday, May 7, 2023

ORFS Search for Indian Cave

The ORFS (Outdoor Recreation for Seniors) were scheduled for their normal Tuesday 10 am hike. However, this Tuesday followed a weeklong rain, and when the group met, it was decided that drenched moss rocks and wooded hill hike would be too dangerous.  Instead, the group would hike three miles on Sunapee tarmac roads.

Outdoor Steve had been anticipating this planned Indian Cave hike, as he always had to bow out of previous Indian Cave planned Tuesdays.  He was devasted that he would not finally get to see and explore Indian Cave.

As the group was hiking, they passed where one would begin hiking to search for the cave. And the rain stopped.  And the sun came out.

Kendall had been to the cave before, and in discussion with Steve, they decided to search for Indian Cave.  The remainder of the group continued the walk, given wet leaves, mossy rocks, steep hill and upcoming signs of more rain.

Steve was glad he brought his hiking poles as the soaked leaves covered the ground’s hidden rocks, and the immediate uphill climb was made easier and safer using hiking poles for support and confidence.

 Kendall readily discovered the ledges where he remembered the Cave.

Cave Description

We located three entrances to the cave below the ledge.  We entered via the left entrance. The cave was dark and we used our flashlights and headlamps. The floor of the cave was mostly shrapnel rocks. The ceiling and walls dripped with water, most likely from the prior week’s drenching rain. The walls had some graffiti.

The below video will take you through the cave. Briefly, we squeezed into the left entrance and exited via the right entrance.  The cave was pitch dark, and thankfully we had headlamps and flashlights.

Click the below picture right bottom to get Full Screen video with narration .

Who did the etchings on the ledge outside of Indian Cave?

I researched online the etchings outside Indian Cave: “Indian Cave Excursionist Peabody, Mass Oct 4, 1878”  and located the below paragraph published by:

Sunapee Echoes Sunapee, New Hampshire Historical Society, Inc. P. O. Box 501, Sunapee, NH 03782 e-mail: 603-763-9872 Winter 2020


How did the Indian Cave get its name? As the Sunapee Echoes story goes, a young Mohawk brave who had joined the local Penacooks to hunt came down with smallpox and was set adrift on the lake. But the Penacook chief’s daughter had fallen in love with him and was determined to nurse him back to health. She slipped away from her tribe, found him, and took him to a cave high above what is now Sunapee Harbor. Unfortunately, both died there, and their bones were found by hunters many years later. The cave was reportedly named “Indian Cave” by a group of “excursionists” from Peabody, MA, who explored it in 1878.

The rock etching outside Indian Cave.  



BY A Party OF Excursionists

From Peabody, Mass

 Oct 4, 1878

Note: I intentionally did not identify the location of Indian Cave. As we searched for it, so shall you.

Now, I never have to say, "I wish I had explored Indian Cave."


ORFS (Outdoor Recreation for Seniors)

ORFS meets every Tuesday (year-round, weather permitting) to do an outdoor activity for two plus hours. Their mantra is, “Make weekly outdoor exercise with us your joyful resolution. Join us each Tuesday at 10 am.”

In the summer Kayaking and hiking occur Tuesdays at 10 am at the same time and start area determined by the ORFS leader for this Tuesday.  When the fall and winter weather make kayaking too cold, we all will hike or snowshoe.


And there are two biking ORFS groups that ride every Thursday. One group pedals moderately, and the other calls themselves “Slower Spokes for Older Folks.” Miles differ depending on the routes.

 Summary Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS)

The Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) group at the COA is made up of numerous high-energy seniors whose hiking, alpine and Nordic skiing, kayaking, and snowshoeing activities would put many younger persons to shame. The ORFS are active throughout the year.

We have a schedule planned for every Tuesday throughout the year!  No more excuses, “I wish I had known about ORFS."

 “Make weekly outdoor exercise with us your joyful resolution. Join us each Tuesday at 10 am.”


"Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends" S. Priest

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