SHC were opened to the public on 30 May 1940. They are located near the Smoke Hole Canyon from which the cave takes its name. They are located on WV 28 13 km west of Petersburg.
Local lore has it that the cave was utilized during Prohibition by moonshiners. There is only one entrance into the caverns which made it secure and with an ever present supply of fresh water it was a perfect place to produce moonshine. The cave also has an artesian well.