Caving in West Virginia

Stalagmite, Caving at Lost World Caverns, Lewisburg, WV, Greenbrier County, Greenbrier Valley Region

Goliath at Lost World Caverns

Caves and caverns are found throughout West Virginia wherever water and stone have conspired to create hollows beneath the Earth’s surface. In southern and eastern West Virginia, however, vast, uncharted caverns have attracted cavers from across the world.

Caving is one of the most exciting-yet-potentially unforgiving sports accommodated in West Virginia. Beyond the safe limits of a developed cavern, faulty equipment, an unplanned route, or a slip on muddy stone can turn an exciting adventure into a search-and-rescue nightmare. However, a number of commercial caves, or “show caves,” have been developed to permit exploration by the general public and several caving organizations exist to help advance exploration and safe and responsible practices.

Caving in the Monongahela National Forest

Pending notice by the U.S. Forest Service, entering caves is currently prohibited on federal property within the Monongahela National Forest. The closures have been enacted to help prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome among indigenous bat populations.

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