Gemstone mining at Seneca Caverns, one feature that makes this a great place for the whole family. Be sure and prepare for some low light photography.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to enhance your photo taking skills, a tour of these caves is the perfect place. Many digital cameras these days don’t need a lot of learning to do this. Either use your camera’s built in light meter. Or simply be certain your flash is working.
My sister and I decided to make a day of it and took the kids to this beautiful state park in West Virginia.
Hard Hats For Every Age Prepared Us For Our Walk Through History
This is one state park where you and your family are guaranteed to pick up some great history. The first thing you get to do is find a hard hat just for you. They do come in large and small.
Since Little Rose is only two and would be carried the whole tour, she wasn’t required to wear a hard hat. But she insisted she have one too. And she cried, “My hat! I lost my hat!” as we came near the end of our journey.
So if you happen to see a yellow hat lying deep in an underground river stream on your visit, you’ll know where it came from.
Cave Tours Are Informational And Fun
Guided tours through Seneca Caverns are open to all ages. This portion of the park is great fun for the whole family.
Seneca is the name of the indian tribe that made these caverns their home. Your guide explains the different aspects of living in these caverns. History comes to life as you travel deep under ground.
Taking pictures is permitted throughout the tour. Our guide even pause and let to give us time for taking photos of each main stop along the way. Our guide would stop and say, “I’ll be right here when you are ready to continue.”
But you are encouraged to take your photos quickly because we wouldn’t want to be in the way of the next guided tour.
Most of the caverns were under water for centuries. It was the natural flow of water that created the caverns we know today.
One wall of the caves features a water fall that is now solid rock salt. You can still see the flow as if frozen in time and space.
You’ll also have the opportunity, if you listen to your guide, to learn the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites are the ones that hang down from the ceiling. And Stalagmites form from the ground up.
If you like low light photography, you will love this tour. The only time you are requested to not take pictures is for a few seconds of total darkness. You actually get to experience what it is like to be in total dark.
During those few seconds you can’t even see your hand in front of your face.
Did you know that too much time in total darkness can cause you to go blind? Don’t worry, though, the few seconds that you get to experience during this tour are safe for everyone. It would actually take three days in this world without light for your pupils to begin shutting down.
Enjoy A Little Gemstone Mining After Your Tour
Outside the caverns you’ll find a complete Gemstone mining system. Water is sifted, for precious stones just like they did when our nation was young.
Kids of all ages can be seen sifting for stones
We didn’t take the time to do any sifting for gemstones on this visit. But many mom’s, dad’s kids and even a grandpa and grandma or two were having a great time sifting for stones.
You can just picture miners of early days looking for their next fortune to appear. Everyone can be a winner at Seneca Caverns. Bags of gemstones are available in the gift shop.
It’s still fun to sift for your own. Even more fun when you know you will leave with your own bag of gems.
Tours are held about every hour. When we arrived one had just begun.
So we took this opportunity to have lunch in the Seneca Caverns Family Restaurant.
We had a wonderful meal which made the tour that much more enjoyable. You don’t want to be on a tour with a two year old when she is hungry.
Both girls had a ball sifting through the samples of gems and seeing which one they had in their hand. The chart on the wall by the stones makes gem identification fun and easy.
My five year old niece had a ball picking out her favorites.
Next time you’re looking for a low light photography opportunity or a fun filled family vacation, be sure and check out Seneca Caverns in wild wonderful West Virginia.