Deep inside of Humpback Mountain lie the Linville Caverns, North Carolina's only caverns. These natural limestone caverns feature stalactite and stalagmite formations and an underground stream. Guided tours (30-40 minutes long) begin on a regular basis. The caverns is located near Linville Falls and four miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Linville Caverns remain active as mineral deposits continue to form the stalactites and stalagmites. The water, produced by this mountain, with its carbon dioxide created the caverns by dissolving limestone and dolomite thus creating natural passageways into the mountain. During the winter and early spring you may get to view an Eastern Pipistrelle Bat, which hibernates here, hanging from the ceiling.
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.
The caverns temperature stays a comfortable 52 degrees F year round. (So it's definitely one of our Favorite Spots to Beat the Heat.) As an active caverns, there is some dripping water on normal days. During periods of heavy sustained rain the caverns can be very wet & drippy. Linville Caverns is one of a few caverns that is partially wheelchair accessible.
Flash photography is allowed inside the caverns. If using a video camera, do not use an external light source such as a spotlight. They do not allow the use of tripods or unipods on the tour.
Directions from Asheville: Take Interstate 40 East to exit 72 (Old Fort), staying straight off exit ramp on US 70 East for 10-12 miles. Turn left at intersection with US 221 (Wal-Mart & McDonald's on left) travelling north for 18 miles. Cave entrance on left. Approximately 75 minutes driving time.
Directions from the Blue Ridge Parkway: Exit at Milepost 317 & turn left onto US 221 South for 4 miles.
Also on US 221, about 13 miles south, is Tom's Creek Falls.
Linville Caverns is open year-round. For more information, go to their web site.