Virginia Speleological Survey FAQs

Q #1: I would like to visit a cave in Virginia. Can the VSS tell me where to find one?
A #1: The answer is both yes and no. To protect cave owners and their caves, the VSS does not usually give out cave locations to individuals. However, if you would like to experience the Virginia underground we recommend that you visit one of the many Show Caves that offer professionally guided tours. More information on Virginia’s Show Caves can be found HERE.

Q #2: I’ve been to all of the Show Caves in Virginia but I’d like to see more. Can the VSS help me?
A #2: Yes. There are many caving clubs (called Grottos) in Virginia. Grottos offer a way for someone new to caving to learn the sport under the guidance of experienced cavers. Most Grottos offer a wide range of caving activities including beginner/sport trips, conservation projects, cave mapping projects, etc. You can find information on the Grottos in Virginia at the National Speleological Society website by following this link: http://www.nssio.org/find_grotto_overview.cfm?state=VA

There is also an excellent primer on caves and caving in Virginia by the VSS’s own Dave Hubbard. This brochure is available from the Virginia Department of Mineral Resources at: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DGMR/pdf/caves.pdf

Q #3: How do I join the VSS? What are your membership requirements?
A #3: The VSS isn’t that kind of organization. We do not have members; however, we welcome contributions of Virginia Cave data from all sources. If you would like to join a caving organization, it is best to contact your local Grotto or the NSS (see above).

Q #4: Where could I find a book of some sort on where the caves are located and how to find them?
A #4: All of the books that have been published concerning the descriptions and locations of caves in Virginia have been out-of-print for some time. It is unlikely that these books will be re-printed, and there are no plans to publish new ones. If you want to see non-commercial caves in Virginia, your best bet is to contact your local NSS grotto (club). See FAQ #2 for more information.

Q #5: Can I get cave maps from the VSS?
A #5:
Probably not. Most cave data (including maps) are given to the VSS with the understanding that we will not freely distribute it.

Q #6: Can the VSS assist me with identifying cave resources on my property?
A #6: If you can prove ownership of the property, the VSS can assist in locating your cave resources and provide you with available documentation.