Discovered by a local teenager at the beginning of the 1800s, Grand Caverns, originally named Weyer’s Cave for its discoverer, is the oldest show cave in America. This limestone cave, located near the town of Grottoes, Virginia is a popular tourist destination that offers powerful testimony to God’s handiwork. While western Virginia boasts a number of impressive caves, none can match the scenic grandeur of the Grand Caverns with its spectacular forest of stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and shields. It was the abundance of these unusual shield formations that prompted the National Park Service, in 1973, to designate Grand Caverns as a National Natural Landmark.
One of the largest natural rooms to be found in any cavern in the Eastern United States is Grand Cavern’s Cathedral Hall, which measures nearly the length of one football field with a ceiling over 70 feet high. The word “impressive” only begins to describe the awe that is felt when entering this area. Natural rock formations with appropriate representative names like Bridal Veil, Dante’s Inferno, and Stonewall Jackson’s Horse are a “must see” for visitors.
The cave has been opened for visitors since 1806, and was visited frequently during the War Between the States by soldiers from both the Northern and Southern armies. Their visits are recorded forever by the names written or scratched into the walls of the cave. Over 230 of those signatures have been found and verified.
Your visit to Grand Caverns need not be limited to visiting the caverns alone. The cavern grounds offer several picnic tables and five picnic shelters that are available by reservation. Approximately three miles of hiking and mountain biking trails run along the park’s borders, paralleling a river for some distance providing a quiet refreshing walk for visitors.
If you happen to be a devotee of bluegrass music, Grand Caverns hosts a Bluegrass Festival on the third weekend in June and on the weekend following Labor Day. Grand Caverns is open year round, excepting special holidays. Guided tours are available from April to October.
Be sure to schedule time to include the Grand Caverns park in your cabin vacation itinerary. It’s an experience that you and your family will never forget.
For more information, click here, or call 888-430-CAVE.