Seneca Caverns: Escape. Underground. 1.800.239.7647
Seneca Caverns - Riverton, West Virginia
Seneca Caverns - Riverton, West Virginia
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Seneca Caverns - Riverton, West Virginia
Seneca Caverns - Riverton, West Virginia Seneca Caverns - Riverton, West Virginia Seneca Caverns - Riverton, West Virginia
Seneca Caverns - Riverton, West Virginia
Seneca Caverns
A Brief History of Seneca Caverns

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.

Seneca Caverns
Local Legend

The Legend of Seneca Rocks
Near the caverns is a place known as "Seneca Rocks" where legend has it that Princess Snow Bird, the only daughter of Chief Bald Eagle and his wife, White Rock, found her true love. It was time for the beautiful and free-spirited princess to choose a mate, and she had many suitors from tribes all over the land. The princess revealed a plan to her parents of what would take place on her wedding day—the men who wished to capture her heart were summoned to the base of the rocks. Whoever could make it to the top with the princess first would have her hand in marriage. Seven braves began the journey after the beautiful maiden, but only one survived to the top. That day, the warrior won the heart of Princess Snow Bird and became the successor to the Chief of the Senecas.

Seneca Caverns
Facts to Learn

As your guide takes you through your tour there are many things inside the cave they will point out and explain. They are trained to answer all of your questions so feel free to go ahead and ask. To help you get started here are some cave facts that you will hear on your tour.

HOW OLD IS THE CAVE - We know that the rock that cave is made in is 450 million years old and we know that the cave itself is about 4.5 million years old. We don't now exactly when all of the formations started to form.

SPELEOTHEMES - Any thing that forms inside a cave is called a speleothem. These have specific names also. A stalactite is a formation the hangs from the ceiling. A stalagmite is a formation that rises up from the ground. If they end up eventually touching each other then it is called a column. Another common formation in most caves is flowstone, Seneca has the largest flowstone formation in the state. There are many other types you will see in the cave, some of these are called, Rimstone pools, Draperies, Cave Bacon or Ribbon stalactites.

TEMPERATURE - Both of our caves maintain about 54 degrees year round. Location has much to do with a caves temperature, colder in the north and warmer in the south. Caves breath air in and out as the outside pressure and temperature changes.

CAVE LIFE - Most cave life is small, at the entrance we have cave crickets, salamanders and spiders. Deeper inside everything is blind and devoid of color, it is very easy to find white centipedes. Bats only live in our caves to hibernate for the winter and leave in the spring. Most bats can eat there own weight in insects every night between April and October.

GERMANY VALLEY - Seneca is in the Germany Valley of Pendleton County. With over 100 known caves in the valley alone it is the most prolific area for caves in the entire United States. As part of the Appalachian Mountains the valley is home to some of the oldest limestone that can be found on the east coast. It is because of this limestone, which is water soluble that we have so many caves.

Seneca Caverns
Seneca Caverns
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N 38.76344 W 079.38860 E 2187.8

Seneca Caverns is located in Riverton, WV,
eight miles south of Seneca Rocks on Rt. 33.

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