Adventure below the surface: West Virginia Caverns
Set out on a quest to explore some of West Virginia’s most hidden gems. A trip to an Almost Heaven cavern is guaranteed to spark a mysterious sense of fun for everyone involved. Young or old, these intricate systems of caves and caverns will leave you in awe.
Lost World Caverns
120 feet beneath the lush forests of the Greenbrier Valley lies a vast wonderland full of stalactites and stalagmites. First discovered in 1942, Lost World Caverns is now open to the public for self-guided tours. Marvel at the massive formations up to 80 feet tall as you venture the half-mile trail. No matter the outside weather, the cave remains at a constant cool and damp 52 degrees. A light jacket and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Browse the Natural History Museum onsite and learn about the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and prehistoric cave bear whose remains were discovered within the cavern in 1967. Shop a variety of geodes, minerals, replica fossils and other gems at the gift shop to take home with you as a keepsake.
Explore More of Lewisburg
While in the area, don’t miss strolling the charming streets of downtown Lewisburg. For fine dining and upscale cuisine, stop by The French Goat or Stardust Cafe. For a more casual meal, be sure to check out The Asylum and The Wild Bean. Swing by Briergarten for some of the best local brews as well as European favorites. Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company proudly serves up award-winning, hand-crafted West Virginia beers. Catch a live performance at Carnegie Hall or watch a flick on the big screen at the Lewis Theatre, an old-time theater from the 1930s. The Greenbrier Valley Theatre also boasts live theatrical performances, musical concerts, literary events, art exhibits and more throughout the year. Turn your day into a stay with an overnight experience at the beloved, Historical General Lewis Inn.
Smoke Hole Caverns
More magnificent formations made from trillions of drops of mineral-laden water can be found on the banks of the North Fork of the South Branch River at Smoke Hole Caverns. First used by Seneca Native Americans to smoke wild game, the slow-burning wood clouds sent smoke swirling out into the valley and earned this spot the name of Smoke Hole. Witness the many rooms that made this cavern the ideal place for early settlers to make corn whiskey after the Civil War. The cold stream that flows through the cavern was perfect for moonshine making and it’s estimated that as many as 20 stills operated at a time. An original still remains on display for guests to see during tours. Today the area has expanded into a resort featuring a boutique store, mini golf course, gemstone mining, fishing, on-site lodging and more.
More Adventures Nearby
Travel just 15 minutes away and find yourself gazing upon one of the state’s most well-known landmarks, Seneca Rocks. Ascending nearly 900 feet, this magnificent formation has become a beloved destination amongst rock climbers worldwide. Scale this peak with a fearless climb or reach the top with a 1.3-mile uphill hike. The Seneca Rocks Discovery Center also provides a majestic view of the rocks with no climb required. Continue another 20 miles to catch incomparable views at Spruce Knob, West Virginia’s highest point. From magnificent sunrises to stunning sunsets, it’s hard to beat the 360-degree panoramic views reached from a climb up the Spruce Knob Observation Tower at nearly 5,000 feet high. Over 75 miles of trails are available for hiking, mountain biking and viewing wildlife.
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This post was last updated on March 13, 2023