Monday, April 15, 2024

The Virginia Living Museum is now a stop on this trail

NEWPORT NEWS  — The Virginia Living Museum is now a member of the Virginia Cave and Karst Trail, thanks to the museum’s limestone cave exhibit.

The statewide trail, complete with 25 stops, was a project created by The Virginia Cave Board, a panel appointed by the governor, and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

According to the trail’s website, the purpose of the trail is to educate the public about the cave and karst formations and to promote the need to preserve them.

Currently only two states – Virginia and Texas – have cave and karst trails.

A cave is an underground, hollow alcove made of rock formations and a karst, which is also underground rock formation made from matter, such as limestone, is filled with caverns, streams and sinkholes.

While the Virginia Living Museum has always had a cave exhibit, the simulation of the limestone cave wasn’t displayed until after the museum decided to open a new building in 2004.

The limestone cave, located on the museum’s lower level, features interactive activities, such as an archaeological dig — where visitors can dig and sift through layers of dirt to uncover fossils along the James River, and the colorful gems that can be found in the “jewel box” of an underground mine, according to a news release from the museum.

The simulation of this cave also includes various critters. Guests can expect to see creatures like the slimy salamander, the Mexican blind cavefish, the black rat snake and many others, according to the news release.

Judy Molnar, a volunteer, helped the museum apply for a membership slot on the trail. Before becoming an educator for the museum, she was a member of the Virginia Cave Board from 2004-2013.

During that time, she nominated the museum to be considered a “stop” on the  trail.

The museum was notified of the board’s approval in April.

The Virginia Living Museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd. and is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $20 and $15 for those 3 to 12 years old.

For information, visit its website or call 757-595-1900. You can also follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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