Located at the southern gateway to western NC's High Country region, Linville Caverns is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. The beauty of our mountains is echoed within Humpback Mountain and visitors are invited to explore the splendor and wonders nature created "inside a mountain".
For centuries, the marvels of Linville Caverns were unknown to man. In the early 1800's a fishing expedition headed by Henry E. Colton, of eastern NC, were astounded to see fish swimming in and out of what appeared to be rather solid rock. A small opening in the mountainous terrain allowed them to enter the subterranean recess that is still home to native trout in an underground stream. Colton, who later served as the state geologist of Tennessee, wrote of his exploration in an 1858 issue of NC Presbyterian, "...now began the wondrous splendors of the hidden world...we emerged into an immense passage, whose roof was far beyond the reach of the glare of our torches, except where the fantastic festoons of stalactites hang down within our touch. It looked like the arch of some grand old cathedral, yet it was too sublime, too perfect in all its beautiful proportions, to be anything of human, but a model which man might attempt to imitate. It was not a large, gross cavern,...pendants were of a delicate lightness, and a most beautiful hue..."
Linville Caverns was opened for public touring in 1937. Since that time many upgrades to the pathways and lighting system have enhanced the safe touring experience that now exists. Courteous and experienced guides take you into the subterranean world, giving you the history of the caverns and allowing you to view the grand work of nature. We invite you to visit often and experience the beauty of these age-old mountains from the inside!
A recent bat survey by the US Fish & Wildlife and the NC Wildlife commission did confirm that 6 bats out of the hundreds hibernating in Linville Caverns are infected with White-Nose Syndrome. We are working closely with these two agencies to control & end the spread of this disease. Linville Caverns is open to the public for touring as usual. We assure you that the fungus, Geomyces destructans, poses no health risk to humans...the caverns tour is safe as always. Our staff will ask visitors to follow a simple cleansing routine following their visit & these steps will help us insure that no visitor is contributing to the spread of this disease.