Hamilton and New Trout Caves Franklin, West Virginia

Hamilton Gallery

New Trout Gallery

Todays trip was supposed to be with the local Grotto club, at Sharps Cave.

Due to a mix up in directions, we ended up at the wrong meeting place, and didn’t get to meat up with them.
We figured we might as well still get some caving in, so we drove on to Franklin, where there are 3 caves within a few hundred feet of each other. Hamilton, Trout, and New Trout.
There was a ton of people there this time, there was at least two scout groups, and two large family groups, at least half of them were young kids. We had to pass a couple small groups of people in the caves a couple times, but it wasn’t all that bad, mostly hanging around the entrances when we were there. My biggest worry, was all the rocks they were knocking down the hill toward us on the way up.
We went in New Trout first, this was our first time in this cave. The entrance was one of the most interesting parts. It is an oblong tunnel, that runs straight back into the cave for quite a ways. You can turn around, and still see the entrance from the end of the straight section.

     The middle part of the cave was not all that interesting, it consisted of alot of medium to large sized break down, with few formations here and there. There were plenty of fossils of shells, but not as many as Trout Cave. Toward the back of the cave, we found a tight crawl, that went through a few jagged rocks.


     It took a bit of bending and twisting, but we popped though to another room, that you could easily stand up in. There was also an upper level, that was basically two huge slabs of rock, that were separated by about 4 feet at one end, and tapering down to a few inches at the far end. There was another little off shoot, that was a round walled room, just large enough to sit up in, that had quite a few signatures in it.

     Overall, it was definitely worth checking out, but I seemed to enjoy Trout alittle more.
We could have spent alittle more time exploring, and looking for other leads, but we wanted to go see Hamilton Cave also.
     Just a couple hundred feet away, is Hamilton Cave.
This was our first time in this cave also, we had heard alot about it being a complete maze. With two and three way forks in the passage every few feet.

     What we weren’t aware of, is that it is Packed with formations ! More than any other cave we have been in. We immediately fell in love with this cave. If the thousands of formations aren’t enough to keep you entertained, trying to keep track of where you are sure will.
Unfortunately, like many caves, alot of the longer formations have been broken off, but there were still a few complete ones, which I used to keep track of where I was, along with a couple glow sticks.


     I cant wait to make another trip to this cave, and get some really good shots of all the formations. I have a new external slave flash I want to tryout, and I think it should improved the lighting a great deal.

     To the left, near the entrance, there was a good bit of standing passage. We explored most all of that, and alittle of the medium sized crawlways. The next trip will involve alot more crawling, there are quite a few very low crawlways to go through. We plan to take detailed notes on our map, and find a way through the maze to the back of the cave.