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Fascinating Cave Creatures of Appalachia

southern cavefish

Hidden underneath the majesty of the Appalachian mountains is a strange, enchanting cave ecosystem full of unusual creatures.

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Going Caving in West Virginia

cave

Organ Cave Where: Near Lewisburg, W.Va., in Greenbrier County How to access: The cave has more than 45 miles of mapped passages. Tours are offered year-round, and are by reservation only from November through April.Reservations are recommended May through October.

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Going Caving in Virginia

cave

Fountain Cave Where: Grottoes, Va., in Augusta and Rockingham counties, adjacent to the more accessible Grand Caverns How to access: While this cave once had walkways, it is now a wild cave ideal for a more adventurous caving experience. Cavers

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Going Caving in Tennessee

cave

Worley’s Cave Where: Bluff City, Tenn., in Sullivan County How to access: Worley’s is located on private property, and it is recommended that visitors tour the cave with a third-party outdoor recreation company, such as High Mountain Expeditions, River &

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Going Caving in North Carolina

cave

Linville Caverns Where: Linville, N.C., in Avery County. How to access: Linville Caverns is one of the most accessible caving experiences in Appalachia, with portions open to wheelchairs. The caverns are open to the public daily March through November, with

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Going Caving in Kentucky

cave tour

Carter Caves State Resort Park Where: Olive Hill, Ky., in Carter County How to access: Multiple caves lie within the state park, which has a variety of amenities including camping and hiking. Difficulty: The most accessible caves feature shorter tours

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Spelunking Safety

kids in cave

Follow these tips while exploring caves to keep yourself, the caves and the wildlife within safe.

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Barring the Way to Disease

bat gate!

Gates placed over the mouths of caves let bats in and out of their home while keeping unwanted humans out.

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