Information on:

Seneca Caverns

3328 Germany Valley Road
304-567-2691

History:

The history of Seneca caverns is long, you could say it started over 460 million years ago. That's when the limestone bed where the Caverns formed was laid under an inland sea. Limestone is formed from the remains of shells from clams, coral and other shellfish, which settle on the bottom of the sea over time.

The first verifiable history of human contact with the cave was in the early 1400's when the Seneca Indians used the cave. The Caverns are located on a great Indian trading route through the Appalachian Mountains. Many tribes used this trading route but it was the Seneca Indians who lived here and used the cave for shelter, storage and special ceremonies. Three hundred years later the first German settlers came to the area. As history goes, a man named Laven Teter rediscovered the cave in 1742 on a quest for water to supply his livestock. At this time the area was not even considered part of the original 13 colonies. The Teter family maintained ownership until 1928. The new owners opened it to the public in 1930 as a show cave.

The Stratosphere Cave is also part of Seneca Caverns. It is the oldest recorded cave in the state. In 1760, a Methodist Bishop named Francis Asbury came to visit his new flock, and The Senecas were so honored they named the cave Asbury Cave. In his journals he writes about Stratosphere cave and also mentions Seneca as another hole in the ground. During the 1960's Civil Defense used the cave for food storage and as a fall out shelter. We currently have an original can of biscuits on display. The name was changed when the cave was opened to the public but then was soon closed as a natural fungus destroyed the stairs and made it too dangerous to use. It was reopened in 2005 and has since been used as adventure style caving.



Reviews

Mikaela Dunegan

Rating:
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
This was the first time I had explored caverns, and for my boyfriend his first visit to this particular spot. We both had a blast and had a wonderful tour guide, I believe his name was Dawson. The prices in the gift shop weren't bad as well. We didn't stop to eat in their restaurant, as we were on our way home to PA. The scenery was beautiful. We would consider going back someday.

Shawn Pertunen

Rating:
Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018
It was raining so we went subterranean. The caves were interesting with some unusual formations. What didn't work was the young tour guides constant references to movies. I want scientific information on the caves, not a review of "Shrek". Overall inexpensive and interesting but get a different guide.

Tania Gaughan

Rating:
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018
Fun place for kids... and adults. Tour guide we had was very knowledgeable and fun. The restaurant served food that was fresh and tasty... well worth a visit!

Shreyansh Gaur

Rating:
Monday, June 18, 2018
We happened to come across these caverns by chance as it was raining and we couldn't hike up Seneca rocks. The caverns are beautiful, the cavern guides make the entire trip really fun with their fun facts and quips. The $15.00 price per head is quite reasonable for the experience.

TruthSeeker

Rating:
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Very enjoyable and informative tour. West Virginia could do more to sell this tourist spot. Luray caverns just across the state lines in Virginia is much more commercialized and gets huge crowds

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