We’ll take a tour of the caverns, learn about meteorology, and do some gem mining. This field trip is limited to 35 participants, including parents. Please RSVP as soon as possible. Cost: $5/family + $5/child ages 6-12, $7/child ages 13+, $4 for gem mining. See below for more details on the caverns, and what we’ll do there! Please read full description below.

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Description

We’ll take a tour of the caverns, learn about meteorology, and do some gem mining. This field trip is limited to 35 participants, including parents. Please RSVP as soon as possible. Cost: $5/family + $5/child ages 6-12, $7/child ages 13+, $4 for gem mining. See below for more details on the caverns, and what we’ll do there! We will meet at 10am, and the field trip will start at 10:30, and end around 1pm.

The Caverns At Natural Bridge are the deepest commercialized caverns on the east coast. Experienced resource interpreters offer students a firsthand look at how water, people, and geology have shaped these expansive subterranean spaces. Many cavern species, some of which are unique to the region, offer spontaneous lessons on the fragile nature of this underground habitat. Within our cavern a variety of natural cycles, including rock cycles, water cycles, and life cycles, occur simultaneously in a delicate balance.

The Caverns at Natural Bridge now offer an 18-minute pre-tour video that focuses on elementary and middle school SOLs. Cavern processes, which are often difficult to understand, are explained in an animated and entertaining manner for viewers before entering the cavern. After viewing the video we will visit the developed parts of our actively growing cavern. The natural environment provides a home for many species of animals often seen on the tours, such as cave salamanders and three species of native bats. Rare geologic formations, (box work and a fissure or stress fracture) are seen on the tour.

The semi-strenuous tour includes approximately 80 stairs throughout the half-mile walk. The caverns are ADA accessible for the first six hundred feet of the tour; accessibility ends at the bottom of the man-made tunnel. The average temperature inside the cavern is 54 degrees. Jackets and close-toed shoes with rubber soles are recommended, as it is very wet inside our actively growing cavern. All three levels and each of the seven rooms are visited on a tour. The tour lasts approximately one hour. All caverns programs are limited to 35 participants at a time (including teachers and chaperones) due to the size of our cavern.

Our Meteorology 101 program allows students to investigate and understand weather patterns and phenomena by integrating technology and hands on learning approach to weather. Onsite weather instruments and web-based technology allow students to observe, classify, and predict weather related events. When students make connections between earth and the influence of our solar system on weather, their understanding of the natural world is enhanced.

Our gem mining activity is a hands-on fun and educational way to learn rock identification. Our staff assist students in understanding how the rocks are formed while learning which rocks can be found in Virginia.

Cost: $5/family + $5/child ages 6-12, $7/child ages 13+, $4 for gem mining.

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