Limestone caves in Grottoes

Grand Caverns

14,966 people have been here
8.2/10

Grand Caverns, formerly known as Weyer's Cave, is located in the central Shenandoah Valley near the town of Grottoes, Virginia, USA. A limestone cavern, it claims the distinction of being America's oldest show cave, in operation since 1806.<ref name="Huso2010">{{Citation

"The Drums, The Tapestry Room, Weyer's Cave"; Lithograph from Beyer (1858): Album of Virginia: Illustrations of the Old Dominion.

Grand Caverns, formerly known as Weyer's Cave, is located in the central Shenandoah Valley near the town of Grottoes, Virginia, USA. A limestone cavern, it claims the distinction of being America's oldest show cave, in operation since 1806.<ref name="Huso2010">Шаблон:Citation</ref>

In 1973, the National Park Service declared the cave a National Natural Landmark because of its unusual (and unusually abundant) "shield formations".

History

The cavern system was discovered in 1804 by 18-year-old Bernard Weyer, a young trapper, looking for his missing trap. He named it Weyer's Cave, after himself, and, after exploring it for two years, opened it for the public, the first show cave of the United States.

During the Civil War and the Valley Campaign, the cave was visited by both Confederate and Union soldiers. During their visits, over 230 soldiers signed their names on the cave's walls. One noted signature is that of W.W. Miles, signed on September 26, 1864. Once, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was apparently camped near Port Republic and allowed his soldiers to visit the caverns. Jackson himself decided not to go, saying, "I fear I shall be underground soon enough, and I have no desire to speed the process!"

In 2004, the Grand Caverns management requested that the Virginia Region chapter of the National Speleological Society conduct a re-survey of the cave system which had not been done since the 1930s. With completion of the re-survey in the original, commercial portion of the cave (2,651 m or 8,694 ft), the cavers pushed a 20-centimeter high passage, which led them to 3,432 m (11,257 ft) of unexplored cave. The total surveyed passage now stands at 6,083 meters (19,952 ft or 3.78 miles) making Grand Caverns the 215th longest surveyed cave in the U.S. as of 7 May 2008. The newly discovered portion of cave (closed to the public) is highly decorated with many forms of speleothems, including the celebrated shields. The passages to the north are fairly dry with abundant brilliant white formations, earning them the name "New Mexico". The southern portion of the new cave includes a series of large rooms with massive breakdown, the largest of which ("Kentucky") is over 100 m long by 40 m wide. The highest and lowest points in the cave are found in the new passage.

Geology

The cave is developed in Cambrian limestone/dolomite, and is known for its abundance of shield formations. It is also replete with stalactites, stalagmites, columns (where stalactites and stalagmites meet), draperies and other flowstone formations. The most stately room, "Cathedral Hall", is 28- feet long and over 70 feet (21 m) high. It is one of the largest rooms of any cavern in the Eastern United States. Other sights include "Bridal Veil", "Stonewall Jackson's Horse", the "Tapestry Room", and "Dante's Inferno".

Grounds

The caverns are surrounded by a tourist-driven area. Other activities in the park include hiking and biking trails, five picnic tables for general use, a swimming pool, and a mini-golf course.

Special events

Every Halloween, Grand Caverns morphs into the Haunted Cave. Workers decorate the cave with various holiday-specific items before dressing up themselves for tourists. The Caverns also host an annual bluegrass festival.

References

External links

Coordinates: 38°15′37″N 78°50′07″W / 38.26028°N 78.83528°W / 38.26028; -78.83528





<a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand Caverns' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' style='font-size: 90%'>Text of this article is based on Wikipedia article «Grand Caverns»</a>

Post a comment
Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Courtney Kane
10 November 2013
Amazing tour! Cute gift shop. Awesome rooms in the cavern.
Matthew Krevat
2 April 2013
Cameron was an excellent tour guide, and he watches Doctor Who
Load more comments
foursquare.com
Location
Map
Address

11 Grand Caverns Drive, Grottoes, VA 24441, USA

Get directions
Open hours
Wed 10:00 AM–6:00 PM
Thu 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Fri 10:00 AM–7:00 PM
Sat 9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Sun 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Mon 9:00 AM–3:00 PM
References

Grand Caverns on Foursquare

Grand Caverns on Facebook

Hotels nearby

See all hotels See all
The Village Inn Harrisonburg

starting $62

Mountainside Villas at Massanutten by Kees Vacations

starting $139

Holiday Inn Express Harrisonburg

starting $121

Super 8 By Wyndham Harrisonburg

starting $55

Ramada by Wyndham Harrisonburg

starting $61

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Harrisonburg

starting $89

Recommended sights nearby

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
University of Virginia
United States

The University of Virginia (also The University, Mr. Jefferson's

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Endless Caverns
United States

Endless Caverns is a commercial show cave located 3 miles south of New

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Monticello
United States

Monticello (Шаблон:Pronounced), located near Charlottesville, Virgi

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Shenandoah National Park
United States

Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Luray Caverns
United States

Luray Caverns, originally called Luray Cave, is a large, celebrated

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Hull's Drive In
United States

Hull's Drive In is a drive-in theatre in Lexington, Virginia, one of

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Green Bank Telescope
United States

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is the world's largest

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Natural Bridge (Virginia)
United States

Natural Bridge, known by locals as Natty B, in Rockbridge County,

Similar tourist attractions

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Luray Caverns
United States

Luray Caverns, originally called Luray Cave, is a large, celebrated

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Cave of the Mounds
United States

Cave of the Mounds, a natural limestone cave located near Blue Mounds,

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Marengo Cave
United States

Marengo Cave is located in Marengo, Indiana. One of only four show

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Lewis and Clark Caverns
United States

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is located in southeastern

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Caverns of Sonora
United States

The Caverns of Sonora, a National Natural Landmark,{{cite

See all similar places