New River Cave Nature Preserve
Giles County, Virginia
New River Cave has been a favorite of recreational cavers for nearly 70 years. The property, which has a long, but only partially documented history of use from prehistoric times to present day saw the tarnished image of a sacrificial cave fade away in the 1990s to one of a gem in the rough. Beauty and mystery, and a great day’s outing, are available for those willing to challenge the darkness.
The NSS purchased New River Cave in 2014 from Tim Kilby, who is an NSS member. In establishing this Nature Preserve, Tim’s hope to protect natural resources and ensure perpetual access were honored. Other objectives included continued documentation and scientific investigation of the geological, biological, paleontological, historical, archaeological, hydrological, and cultural resources of New River Cave, as well as management of the surface to provide both recreational and natural value.
Caver Tim Kilby purchased the property from a timber company in 1989. The title search showed recorded mining restrictions placed on the property in 1987 through 2027 (by the timber company from whom he bought the property). The deed going back to 1928 showed reserved mining and water rights in prior deeds. These rights were granted to a company long since defunct. The NSS acquired the property from Kilby in 2014.
The cave is considered of historical significance by the Virginia Speological Survey, but no documentation of this historical significance is in the VSS files.