West Virginia January 08, 2018
An Unexpected Waterfall Is Hiding Underground In This Cave In West Virginia
There are secret lands beneath our feet; miles of tunnels and waterways spiderwebbed below us, unseen. But you can find them if you know where to look and can navigate a cave with a moderate degree of skill. Sharps Cave in Pocahontas County is one such place – with an unexpected surprise.
Sharps Cave is located in Slaty Fork just off U.S. Route 219 - about 14 miles north of Marlinton.
However, this is not your typical cave. There is no tour guide, gift shop or gem mining here. There is just a hole in the ground. If you want to visit the cave, you will have to get in contact with some local cavers who are willing to guide you through your first caving expedition.
Luckily, the area is popular with cavers, so finding a group to join probably won't be too difficult.
Many groups head out to the location, geared up with all the necessary equipment, and one by one, they descend into the dark.
One inside, you will find a network of tunnels snaking through the earth, connected to many large caverns.
But one cavern in particular is noteworthy, often referred to as the mud sculpture room. It is a large cavern with literally hundreds of sculptures formed from the mud of the cavern floor. These sculptures are able to remain intact thanks to a lack of certain environmental factors, such as rain and wind.
But the real treat is the waterfall.
And it's no lazy waterfall, either. The waters rush underground along a tributary that spills over a short dropoff.
Caves are generally wet without the addition of rushing waterfalls, so dressing appropriately is a must. But once you are down there, it will all be worth it.
To watch the water rush along in the darkness under the earth reminds us that not all caves are quiet, desolate places; that nature moves with the same grace beneath the earth as it does above it.
Are you a caver who has explored Sharps Cave or similar locations? Feel free to tell us all about your experience in the comments.
To learn more about caves in West Virginia, check out
this underground wonderland in Pendleton County.