Virginia has three regions of different character and geological structure:

  1. The Coastal Plains, unsuitable for caves.
  2. The Piedmont Plateau in the center, still no caves.
  3. All the caves are in the limestones of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains.

Along the ridge of the Appalachians, the Shennandoah Valley crosses the state diagonally fron NE to SW. This fertile corridor provides easy access to the caves, so many of them are known for centuries. The caves have a long history, including Indian artifacts, tales of treasure, mining of saltpeter for gunpowder and stories from the Civil War. The first show cave in the USA was Grand Cavern, which opened to the public in 1806, then called Weyer's Cave. It was successful, and engravings and early postcards with the name Weyer's Cave are still traded.

The political boundary between Virginia and West Virginia cuts through a geological unit. The caves on both sides of the border share their geological structure and their history. So if you are in the area, take a look into caves on both sides of the State border!