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Luray Caverns, Luray Virginia
Luray Caverns, Luray Virginia
Caves underground, interesting, intriguing and mysterious for so many, personally I love the idea of caves and caverns. There are so many to visit and experience in the world. They are amazing creations of the earth and nature. How are they created, and how long does it take to create them? The answer is millions of years to create and they are created by water, and minerals in the ground.
Where I live we have a network of caves or caverns to choose from. The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to many caverns that have now become commercial. Located in Luray Virginia are the Luray Caverns. My parents went there on their honeymoon, and we have visited these beautiful caverns for years since.
Luray Caverns was found on August 13, 1878 by five men. Cold air rushing out of a limestone sinkhole at the top of a large hill just west of Luray, Virginia blew out a candle, and this is what alerted the men that they may have something to explore. When the men entered the cave with nothing but a rope, and a candle they were amazed to find a discovery of a lifetime.
Later when the caves were explored better, they found a skeleton of an Indian girl.
The Luray Caverns were originally called Luray Cave, and is located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Luray is best known for its Great Stalacpipe Organ. This is an amazing instrument that is played on the stalactite and stalagmite formations located in the caverns. Luray Caverns has hosted many weddings in the organ room of the cave, with the “natural” organ providing the music.
There are many different formations that can be found in the caverns. The “draperies” are rock formations that look like curtains, towels, scarves or blankets. These formations are so thin you can see light through them. Then you will find stalactites and stalagmites. These are found growing from the ceiling or the floor of the caverns and take many millions of years to grow. They are formed by calcite crystals and other minerals that leach through the ground in the water.
Luray Caverns has some bodies of water located in it also. While walking through this enchanting and beautiful cave system you will come upon what they call Dream Lake. Dream Lake is called this because of the dreamlike quality it has. It has an almost mirror like appearance. When you look into it you will see stalactites reflected on the water making them appear like stalagmites. This illusion makes it feel as it you can’t see the bottom of the lake.
Moving on through the caverns you will come across the Wishing Well. This is similar to Dream Lake, as it gives the opposite appearance. It actually looks like it’s only 3 to 4 feet deep but in reality it is 6 to 7 feet deep.
Due to some legal complications, the man that originally owned the caverns lost it and it was eventually opened to the public.
In 1901 the Limair Sanatorium was built at the summit of cave hill and the cool and pure air from the caverns was pumped into the sanatorium and they billed it as the first air conditioned home in the United States.
Over the years these caverns have grown in popularity and millions of people have walked through their beauty. They have handicapped accessibility and closed captioned recordings for those that need them.
I personally love the “egg” formation located in the caverns. There’s so much to see and enjoy. The beauty of nature, the force of nature and the passage of time are all on showcase here in Luray Caverns.
Luray CavernsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Things to do near Luray Caverns.
Luray Caverns is an exceptional and beautiful thing to experience, but the surrounding area is just as amazing. Located at Luray Caverns you will find a car museum, this is included in the price of admission to Luray Caverns.
If you are staying in the area, don't miss the Skyline Drive. Here you will find breathtaking views and all the wonder of nature. On the Skyline Drive you will see a variety of animals, we have had a bear and it's cubs walk across the road in front of us.
If you like to hike you can hike the trails on Skyline Drive they also have campsites that are on a first come first serve basis.
Area Surrounding Luray CavernsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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