The caves in carbonate rock are located in the valley of central and southeastern NY. The middle of the state is divided from north to south by the Appalachian Plateau. In this central region, gently folded Silurian and Devonian limestone (about 375 Ma) allowed Tertiary karst developmen.
Later, in the ice ages, this area was the path of enormous glaciers from the north, which crushed larger caves with their weight. So only narrow and therefore stable caves survived until today.