Clover Hollow Natural Area Preserve


As one of Virginia's smaller natural area preserves, the 25-acre Clover Hollow Natural Area Preserve does not at first glance appear remarkable - an old farm field slowly returning to forest. But beneath that field run the passages of Stay High Cave, home to seven globally rare, cave-adapted invertebrate species, three of which are known only from Sinking Creek Valley in Giles County. More common cave-adapted invertebrates also reside in the cave, along with cave salamanders, crickets, harvestmen, spiders, crayfish, and bats. Several different subterranean habitats occur in the cave - streams, riparian mud banks, drip pools, and transient organic communities. The cave's position near the head of the watershed means that most of the water in the cave stream is derived from forested slopes.

Its biological significance came to light in 1994, when Virginia speleologist Dave Hubbard performed a biological inventory of the cave in response to the concerns of local residents over a proposed power line corridor. It soon became obvious that the power line was not the only threat to this subterranean realm as residential development in the area increased.

Both the Cave Conservancy of the Virginias and the Natural Heritage Program identified Stay High Cave as a conservation priority, culminating in its acquisition by the state in 2005.


The Clover Hollow Natural Area Preserve is closed to general visitation to protect the delicate natural communities and species which inhabit the cave passage. Access to the cave is limited to data collection and monitoring purposes. Access by permission with DCR.


Wil Orndorff, Cave/Karst Stewardship Specialist,, (540) 553-1235

Contact Clover Hollow Natural Area Preserve

Ryan Klopf, Mountain Region Steward
Department of Conservation & Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage
Phone: (540) 265-5234


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Giles County, Virginia

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