Larger-than-life rock formations are plentiful in Lewisburg, West Virginia, at this destination for adventurers and families alike.
Although West Virginia is known for its towering mountains, Lost World Caverns in the small town of Lewisburg caters to underground adventurers. The 120-foot-high main chamber houses huge stalagmites and stalactites, and the cave is filled with amazing rock formations that have sat undisturbed for eons.
Whimsical formations like Smurf Village, Pigtail and Ice Cream Castle are favorites for the whole family to view on the 45-minute, self-guided walking tour. The 5-million-year-old Goliath is 40 feet high with a 25-foot circumference. The Snowy Chandelier in the cavern is documented as one of the largest compound stalactites in the United States.
Many of the formations glisten with beads of water, while others like Bridal Veil and The Crystal Waterfall sparkle from the thousands of calcite crystals embedded within them.
Don’t miss the platform that allows visitors to gaze 12 stories upward to see the cave’s only natural entrance. Near the far end of the cave, away from today’s man-made entrance, listen carefully and you may hear the echo of the cavern’s flowing, underground river.
The cave can be easily traversed by walkways and stone staircases that wind on for a half mile. Though summer is the perfect time to see this centuries-old wonder, closed-toe shoes and a light jacket are recommended as the cave stays at a consistent 52 degrees.
The truly adventurous can sign up for an expedition into deeper and wilder portions of the cave. After four hours of crawling, climbing and scrambling with only a helmet light to illuminate the way, explorers are rewarded with a 360-degree view of wondrous formations.
After touring the cave, come back to the surface to enjoy a picnic on the grounds or take a spin through the gift shop. 907 Lost World Rd., Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901, 304/645-6677, lostworldcaverns.com