Have you ever been in a cave before? If not, there are a few things you should know before joining us on our adventure…

Spelunker: is a person who explores caves or is interested in caving.
Spelunking: refers to the pastime of exploring non-commercial caves (so we weren’t technically spelunking, but we sure enjoyed our visit!
Stalactite: the mineral formation that hangs from the ceiling of limestone caves–also known as dripstones
Stalagmite: the mineral formation that rises from the floor of limestone caves. It is formed by mineral deposits dripped from above.
Column: a structure that is formed when a stalactite and a stalagmite meet.
Bats: Bats live in caves, but depending on the time of year and which cave you visit, will determine if you are able to see them.

I’ve always had a hard time remembering the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. Our tour guide told us a great way to remember which is which…

Stalactite: The stalactite stays “tight” to the ceiling.
Stalagmite: The stalagmite is on the ground but “might” grow up to the ceiling someday.



Welcome to Seneca Caverns!

A good example of a column

Polly thinks this broken column looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!



I love the way this looks!

Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Columns

Indiana bats and Virginia Big-ear Bats live in the caverns but weren't in residence when we were there...they were out raising babies and finding food!

The cave stays at 54 degrees Fahrenheit all year long!

Polly's checking out the stalactites! If you look carefully you can see drips--that is one of the signs that it is a live formation and still growing!

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

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7 Responses to “
Polly #3 Explores Seneca Caverns (West Virginia)

  1. Was it scary to be that far underground? Were you afraid you would be stuck there?

  2. Adam~
    I didn’t think being underground was scary at all, but during one part of the tour the tour guide did ask if any of us were claustrophobic or afraid of the dark. Nobody admitted to being nervous, so she turned off the lights leaving us in total cave darkness, as she called it. Unfortunately one of the kids in our group was wearing a glow in the dark shirt which ruined the effect a bit…but it was still very cool. She said being in a cave is the only time you can experience true darkness. If we weren’t in a commercial cave with a tour guide and a bunch of people, being in total cave darkness might have been a little scary!

  3. WOW! It’s like another world in there. The earth never stops changing, and I love seeing places where the processes are still in motion. This is a nice quick-and-easy lesson on rocks and caverns. I think I’m ready for the pop quiz!

  4. Your tour guide gave you a great way of remembering the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. Thanks for sharing! I always forget which is which

  5. Okay, Doug, ready? No peeking!

    1. What is a Stalactite?
    2. What is a column?
    3. Were we spelunking? Why or why not?

    Happy Travels,
    Polly #3

  6. 1. A stalactite grows from the ceiling down and hangs tightly (or perhaps “tite”ly)as it builds its way toward the ground.

    2. A column is a single rock formation that goes from the ceiling to the floor. It is the product of a stalactite and stalagmite meeting at a center point and creating a continuous formation.

    3. No. Seneca Caverns is a commercial cave that is open to tourists, so you are not officially spelunkers.

    How did I do?


    The ol’ Dougster

  7. Doug aka the ol’ Dougster…..good job!