Linville Caverns, located near the southern entryway to western North Carolina's High Country area, is a wonderful location for tourists of all ages. The grandeur of our mountains may be seen within Humpback Mountain, and tourists are welcome to discover the majesty and miracles produced by nature "within a mountain."
Linville Caverns' wonders remained unknown to man for ages. A fishing expedition led by Henry E. Colton of eastern North Carolina was surprised to observe fish swimming in and out of what looked to be solid rock in the early 1800s. They were able to penetrate the subterranean recess that is still home to native trout in an underground stream through a small hole in the rugged terrain. Colton, who later became Tennessee's state geologist, wrote about his exploration in an 1858 issue of NC Presbyterian "...then began the wondrous splendors of the hidden world...we emerged into an immense passage, the roof of which was far beyond the reach of our torches, except where the fantastic festoons of stalactites hang down within our touch. It appeared to be the arch of some vast old church, but it was too sublime, too perfect in all its lovely proportions, to be anything else than a model for man to copy. It was not a vast, ominous cavern...pendants were delicately light and of a very lovely shade..."
Linville Caverns was opened to the public in 1937. Since then, several improvements to the paths and lighting system have improved the now-safe visiting experience. Courteous and skilled guides lead you into the subterranean realm, explaining the history of the caves and enabling you to admire nature's amazing work. We urge you to return frequently to appreciate the magnificence of these ancient mountains from within!