Walking into these caverns was like walking into a one million year old story book. Instantly, I was awe struck. I stood there, humbled, surrounded by an ancient and mostly uncharted ecosystem filled with the most intricate stalactites and stalagmites I had ever seen in person.
Linville caverns have quite the unique geological make-up and are found within Humpback Mountain. It is an active limestone cavern made up of prehistoric igneous and metamorphic rock and is the largest tectonic cave in the state of North Carolina. It is truly phenomenal to think about what it took to create this cave; the constant dripping of rainwater and the rushing of the underground streams carved every nook and every fissure that you see. All of the rooms and passageways you get to explore are naturally made by the beautiful grace of time.
Each small grouping of people are given a guided tour that lasts about 30 minutes and is jam packed with interesting history, a plethora of trivia and some unexpected humor too. Trust me, humor is good when you are standing over what is known as the “bottomless pool” because not one single scientist has been able to calculate the depth of the water, or when you enter the “total darkness” room and there are bats flying around. Yes, humor is appreciated.
You can expect to see beautiful mineral colours and stand astonished viewing natures artistic sculpting capabilities. There is also a curvy stream housing native Blind Trout that swim by you throughout the duration of your tour. It was so nice having them around that I had to resist the urge to name them.
The caverns are located in Western North Carolinas High Country and open year round. It is an outing for all ages and I can personally attest to this. When I went I took my son who was 2 years old at the time. If it’s cool enough for my 2 year old, it’s probably cool enough for you too.
Speaking of cool, the caves are a refreshing 57 degrees so bring a sweater and/or rain jacket if you think the damp cold might bother you.
So if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to journey into the center of a mountain, then check out Lineville Caverns. It is an experience you won’t soon forget.
The drive to Linville caverns is about 90 minutes from Wildberry Lodge, a nice day trip.
Written by Kate Randall