Tennessee June 15, 2017
This Map Shows The Shortest Route To 7 Of Tennessee’s Most Incredible Caves
Tennessee isn’t called Ol’ Rocky Top for nothing – and you’ll understand just how stony the place can get once you look beneath the surface. Our underground is riddled with gorgeous nooks and crannies, opening into grand caverns and quirky cave systems. We’ve made up a road trip that will take you from one to the other in a series of hours. Pretty neat, wouldn’t you say?
You can find (and follow!)
our original map here.
1. Cumberland Caverns
You can find Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, a natural landmark of national aplomb and the second longest cave in the state. It is actually known as one of the longest caves in both the United States and the world, as well. Pretty epic, wouldn't you say? The famed Bluegrass Underground concerts take place in their largest cavern, but if caving really isn't your thing you can take their mile and a half walking tour. (1437 Cumberland Caverns Road)
2. Raccoon Mountain
Whereas the Cumberland Caverns may be epic, Raccoon Mountain is actually the highest rated cave by visitors in the state. You can park your RV here or rough it at a campground, and the wild cave expeditions are more than fun for the whole family. This Chattanooga wonder is well worth its salt, and its place on our list. (319 W Hills Road)
3. Ruby Falls
Ruby Falls may just be the most popular underground waterfall in the world. We also may just being saying that...? But Chattanooga scored big time when it comes to this subterranean stunner. Home to a 145-foot waterfall, you can take a guided cave that leads you right to it. (1720 Scenic Highway)
4. Craighead Caverns
Home to the Lost Sea, Craighead Caverns is actually a wildly extensive series of caves that stretch from Sweetwater to Madisonville. You most likely know of it because of its massive underground lake - it's the largest in the US and makes a name for itself as the world's SECOND largest. Take a glass-bottomed boat tour and ogle the wildlife that makes this dark and beautiful place their home. (140 Lost Sea Road)
5. Cherokee Caverns
The historic Cherokee Caverns began to form roughly 300 million years ago, and you can still see the fossils of shells and ancient skeletons throughout the underground system. It is open only a few times a year - usually between four a six days for special events - although you can also schedule private tours. Nothing like being a bit exclusive, hey? (8524 Oak Ridge Highway)
6. Forbidden Caverns
If you're in Sevierville, you may just need to pop on by the beautiful Forbidden Caverns. A one hour tour is the perfect amount of time to walk you through the well-lit cave system, where you can observe natural formations, sparkling rooms and grottos, as well as an underground stream. Nature does it best, you know. (455 Blowing Cave Road)
7. Tuckaleechee Caverns
Townsend, Tennessee is home to the beautiful Tuckaleechee Caverns, known as, "The Greatest Sight Under the Smokies." You can observe the dripstone formation known as Elephant Rock, as well as the stunning cave walls that were carved out of the earth between twenty and thirty million years ago. Folks have been visiting the caverns since 1953, so it's about time you joined the queue. (825 Cavern Road)
Pretty neat, wouldn’t you say? Once you’re done exploring the underbelly of our great state, you’ll need to check out these
15 Amazing Lake Trips You Need To Take This Summer.