Linville Caverns is the only commercial cave in North Carolina. (There are commercial caves in Tennessee and Virginia that aren’t that far away.)
The caverns were discovered by fishermen in 1822. Linville Caverns has been a show cave since the late 1930s.
Linville Caverns formed in a deposit of Shady Dolomite. Shady Dolomite is a magnesium-bearing limestone. Nearby Woodlawn Quarry excavates Shady Dolomite for sand and lime.
Linville Caverns is open every day March thru November. They are only open on the weekends from December 1st till the end of February.
Knowledgeable, friendly cave guides lead you through the cave. The tour takes about half an hour.
The cave guide tells you about the local cave history. Civil War deserters used Linville Caverns as a hideout.
The guide tells you what creatures live in caves. He will point out blind cave fish.
Tricolored bats and little brown bats winter in Linville Caverns. If you tour the caves in the late fall or winter, the guide will point them out.
Tricolored bats and little brown bats eat bugs.
The guide points out formations along the path and gives an easy geology lesson about the stalactites, stalagmites and other formations.
The tour ends at an excellent gift shop, where anyone who doesn’t wish to take the tour can wait.
Linville Caverns is on US-221 between Linville and Marion, 4 miles off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.