Cavernous path

The trails inside Linville Caverns are cool and damp, with a seasonal average temperature of approximately 50 degrees, relatively warm for the winter High Country months.

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When most think of dark and moist caves, the word “fun” is usually not associated alongside them. However, Linville hosts an attraction so cavernous and wonderful it will likely challenge your thinking about caves.

Linville Caverns, located in a beautiful area of the Blue Ridge Mountains in McDowell County, holds the title of being North Carolina’s only known limestone cave.

Deep beneath Humpback Mountain, million of years worth of flowing water has shaped the caverns to what they are today.

In 1822, two fishermen followed a family of fish to upstream to discover what is now known as Linville Caverns.

Minutes after buying your ticket, you are transported from a land of sunshine to an underworld of rocks, dripping water, tight spaces and your childhood wonder as you explore a cave, the opposite of your normal commute.

Many individuals as children played in the yard, pretending to explore different worlds while navigating through adventures in their imagination. Upon growing up, those same children as adults find that most places of exploration include shopping malls or overcrowded clothes closets.

Those childlike dreams and experiences of true exploration are available again at Linville Caverns, as visitors learn about the different types of limestone rocks that grow there, in addition to the types of fish who have made their homes in the cavern’s streams.

Also during the upcoming winter months, tour groups may get the chance to see some hibernating tricolored bats.

Did you know there was a type of spider with “grand” in its name? In addition to hibernating bats, hibernating grand-daddy long legs occupy the cavernous spaces that are prime climates for a long rest.

Experience complete darkness a mile underground, a feat that is only comparable to being in the very depths of the ocean, which unlike the caverns, would be a much more expensive, time-consuming and dangerous journey.

With a constant temperature of 52 degrees year round, it would be wise to bring a jacket, especially one with a hood due to dripping water.

Now there is no need to fret of becoming bored at Linville Caverns. With half-hour long guided tours, there is much to learn and even more to see with something new happening each time you go.

Getting lost within the caverns is never a concern, as trained guides will take visitors on a tour of the cave, pointing out interesting rock formations and various animals, while also teaching visitors, whether individuals or groups, about the history of the cave.

All in all, a trip to Linville Caverns will rock your socks and you will not take it for granite ... rather, granted.

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