By Bill Walker
Photos By Brian Williams
In 2007 I spent a considerable amount of time in Virginia visiting Brian Williams who had recently moved up there from Florida. This is an account of one trip I took up for a long weekend. One day, Brian, Haley Grasty and I took a trip up to Alleghany and Bath Counties in western Virginia. This is located on the border of West Virginia in the Valley and Ridge, and is considered prime caving land (especially Bath County.) We drove up to the area without a plan.
Ridge Driving in Alleghany County
We drove around in an area in Alleghany County that Brian was familiar with. He had discovered some caves on a landowners property and wanted to drive around the area looking for more. It was a beautiful late spring day and the weather was perfect – sunny and warm, but not hot. We found a bunch of sinkholes in the area, but no caves or leads.
Island Ford Cave
Our next stop was Island Ford Cave, also in Alleghany County. Island Ford Cave is the most readily accessible non-commercial cave in Virginia. It’s a huge entrance is visible from the interstate and the cave receives quite a bit of local traffic. It’s an easy cave with about 1400 feet of passage. The West Virginia Cave Conservancy owns the cave now.
After spending about an hour in Island Ford, we headed up to Bath County for more adventure. Bath County is known for some of the longest caves in Virginia. We located Crossroads Cave, though none of us had been there before (big mistake.) Crossroads is a 3.5 mile long cave that consists of a confusing maze of tall canyon passage. We spent many hours in the front of this cave, but could not find the way on. What we saw was pretty cool, though.