West Virginia Caves, Nature February 09, 2018
Few People Know About this Fossil Cave Hiding Right Here In West Virginia
The oldest parts of our history are found deep underground. They are no doubt millions of fossils and artifacts underground we may never find. But luckily, there is a cave in Greenbrier county that has not only found fossilized remains from West Virginia’s past, but have them in such abundant supply, that you are allowed to find your own and keep them.
European settlers discovered Organ Cave in 1704, but this cave has been in use by native people since 800 B.C. Native Americans used a great deal of the chert found in the cave for arrowheads and other necessary tools. The cave also has carvings that researchers believe are also of native origin.
Later, the cave was discovered by Europeans, as it sat along the Old Midland Trail, a buffalo trail. The cave was used as a storage area, refrigerator and a meeting place. Evidence of settler activity was evident by the excavation of three wagon wheel hubs, plus several horseshoes and rasps.
The cave itself is one of the longest in the country. So far, 700 miles of the cave has been mapped. No one has yet discovered where it ends.
The photo above shows one of the most prominent features of the cave, the titular "organ" formation, one of many interesting formations in this huge cave system.
The cave itself is also surprisingly open and spacious, allowing plenty of room to explore.
To facilitate exploration, twelve expedition/fossil hunt tours are offered, some of which are designed for kids. There are also three guided tours which will teach you about various historical periods that involved the cave, the most famous of which is the Civil War.
Tours are fairly short, being roughly one hour and 30 minutes in length.
The expedition tours are generally longer, running from about three hours to an overnight tour that is 18 hours.
There is also a gift shop on the grounds, that allows viewing of the many fossils and artifacts that have been recovered from the cave over the years, such as these artifacts that include pieces of chert and the three wagon wheel hubs mentioned earlier.
Organ Cave is located at 63 E Route 219 near Ronceverte (about 9 miles south of Lewisberg on US-219). Their phone number is 304-645-7600.
For more information on Organ Cave, visit the website
Have you ever been to Organ Cave? Feel free to comment below and tell us about your visit.
To learn more about West Virginia, check out
this underground wonderland at the stunning Seneca Caverns.