North Carolina is home to over 900 caves and caverns. While most of those aren’t open to the public, a few are! Looking to step away into uncharted, dark territory, with scenery unlike anywhere else? Check out these six caves that are sure to make you feel like a true explorer.
1. Linville Caverns, McDowell County
Deep within Humpback mountain lies quite possibly the most popular cavern in North Carolina. Linville Caverns takes you straight out of North Carolina and into a maze of dark tunnels with otherworldly rock formations. The cavern stays at 52 degrees year round and is home to a small stream with blind trout and the occasional bat or two.
2. Bat Cave, Henderson County
While privately owned and protected by the North Carolina Nature Conservancy, Bat Cave is still open for private tours. As the state's largest tectonic cave, mapped passages reach 1.4 miles. Some parts of the cavern stretch 85 ft. high and 330 ft. long. Rattlesnakes are known to frequent the cave in the winter months, while the 'bats' who gave the cave its name now exist in minimum numbers as most have been driven away.
3. Boone's Cave, Davidson County
This cave overlooks the Yadkin River and is part of the 110-acre Boone's Cave State Park. The cave got its name from the legendary Daniel Boone who was said to have hid from Indians in the cave. It's 80 ft. long and varies in height.
4. Rumbling Bald Cave, Rutherford County
Not for the faint of heart or "spelunking" newbie, Rumbling Bald is a workout but totally worth it. Also, you can hike outside of the caves for breathtaking views.
5. Tory's Den, Hanging Rock State Park
After you marvel at the waterfall and hike around for a bit, step into some spooky darkness at Tory's Den. Make sure your flashlight is charged before you enter.
6. Asheville Salt Cave
While not a "true" cave, the Asheville Salt Cave is all natural. For a rejuvenating day (no serious spelunking involved) relax, unwind, and let nature do its job at the Asheville Salt Caves.
Which caves have you explored in North Carolina? Which are on your list? Tell us in the comments below!