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The Caverns at Natural Bridge facts for kids

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Not to be confused with Natural Bridge Caverns (Texas).
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The Caverns at Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge Caverns
The Caverns at Natural Bridge VA.jpg
Formations at the Caverns at Natural Bridge
Location in Shenandoah Valley##Location in Virginia##Location in United States
Location 6477 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge, Virginia 24578
Coordinates 37°38′8.7288″N 79°32′29.9364″W / 37.635758000°N 79.541649000°W / 37.635758000; -79.541649000Coordinates: 37°38′8.7288″N 79°32′29.9364″W / 37.635758000°N 79.541649000°W / 37.635758000; -79.541649000
Depth 347 ft (106 m)
Discovery 1889
Geology
Access yes; commercial
Show cave opened yes
Features Two unique species; various geological features: Colossal Dome Room, Mirror Lake, Well Room, Canyon Room

The Caverns at Natural Bridge are a series of commercial show caves in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, close in proximity to both the Natural Bridge and Natural Bridge State Park. Discovered in the 1890s, it was opened to the public in 1978.

The Caverns at Natural Bridge are the deepest commercial cavern on the east coast. The Caverns are home to two unique species — a beetle called the Natural Bridge Cave Beetle (Pseudanophthalmus pontis) and the Natural Bridge Isopod (Caecidotea bowmani).

Description

Guided tours and lantern tours are available. The Caverns are allegedly haunted. Tours usually last around 45 minutes.

The temperature remains a cool 54 °F (12 °C). The Caverns feature many unique structures including the Colossal Dome Room, Mirror Lake, Well Room, and the Canyon Room. The deepest part of the Cavern is 347 feet (106 meters) below the ground's surface.

The Caverns at Natural Bridge were previously called Buck Hill Caverns.

History

The Caverns were discovered by brothers Jake and Joe Fitzgerald. The owner of the property at the time was Colonel Henry Chester Parsons, who was also associated with the opening of The Natural Bridge.

Geology

The Shenandoah Valley is underlain with limestone and also has karst topography, forming caves throughout the region. Rainwater becomes slightly acidic as it seeps through the soil. The acid slowly erodes the calcium carbonate, the main component of limestone, creating caves, sinkholes and springs throughout the landscape. There are many cave and caverns throughout the surrounding area.

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