Adventure Us: Lost World Caverns
In the countryside near the beautiful town of Lewisburg, WV, lies an underground treasure worth exploring: Lost World Caverns, a limestone cave buried 235 feet below the rolling Greenbrier County pasture.
There are several interesting aspects to the Lost World Caverns. The cave itself is a gorgeous place with a soaring 120-foot high rock ceiling and stunning rock formations, including the Snowy Chandelier, the Bridal Veil, and other magnificent flowstone formations. You can also see the War Club stalagmite, which has the dubious distinction of being sat upon for almost 16 days to achieve the world stalagmite sitting record. A subterranean waterfall runs when the weather is wet; you can also hear an underground stream which vanishes into the rock only to appear on the surface 8 miles away, forming the largest spring in West Virginia. The cave tour is self-guided, offering a unique opportunity to go at your own pace, or even retrace your steps a second time around the loop.
The history of the cave is another interesting part of the experience. As you explore the cave, you pass below its original entrance, a vine-covered hole in a farmer’s field down which spelunkers first rappelled down back in 1942. Below this entrance lies a pile of animal bones, rusted farm implements, and an old cable ladder. These are remnants from the days when farmers would use the cave as a burial place for dead animals. The old cable ladder was originally the only way to access the cave from the hole 120 feet above.
Finally, Lost World Cave has preserved treasures of ancient history. In 1967, the remains of an extinct prehistoric cave bear were discovered within the cave. Later, additional black bear remains dating back thousands of years were found. The gift shop houses a small natural history museum that features not only some of the bones discovered within the cave, but other fossils, geodes, and gemstones.
Lost World Caverns is one of 2500 known caves in Greenbrier County, and new underground passages continue to be discovered in the area. The caverns offer adventurous visitors a taste of more extreme underground exploration with its 6-hour Wild Cave Tour, which takes you into the deeper, darker parts of the cave for a test of your spelunking abilities. They promise that you will return highly rewarded and covered in mud! A trained tour guide, a hot meal, and all your caving gear is provided.
One additional attraction of Lost World Caverns as a summer adventure: the temperature in the cave stays a constant 52 degrees year round, a cool break from oppressive heat above ground. Lost World Caverns fits perfectly as either a standalone day trip, or a stop on an overnight tour of the scenic Lewisburg area!
Name: Lost World Caverns, 907 Lost World Rd, Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
Time from Roanoke: 1 hour, 45 min
Activity Options: Underground adventuring, natural history
Nearby Food: Several good options in downtown Lewisburg
Nearby Attractions: Greenbrier Hotel; historic downtown Lewisburg; Greenbrier River Trail
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