Tennessee is a state well known for many things. Among those things are its beauty,
lakes, rivers, roads, musical heritage and its caves, Tennessee can lay
claim to the title of having more caves than any other state in the United States with over
8,600 known caves. Many of the larger caves have been commercialized and offer guided tours
that range in duration from short ones that may last
an hour or two all the way to
excursions that include overnight underground camping trips. Most our what we offer on our
tours will consist of trips to those larger commercial caves.
Trips to the smaller and less known caves are available but are recommended for experienced cavers only who own their own
equipment. Most of those caves are located on private property and can only
be explored with permission of the property owner.
Tennessee has a strict cave law dealing with entering a cave without permission, theft from, or vandalism of caves or
caverns. Therefore, trips must
be planned well in advance so that permission can be obtained from property owners,
equipment gathered and ready and tours guides lined up. Also, experienced cavers know and realize the dangers involved
in exploring the smaller caves and that falls, falling rocks, drowning and hypothermia have taken the lives of many
experienced cavers. Sometimes just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time can be deadly. Anyone choosing this
type of cave tours must sign an additional release form prior
to entering any caves other than the larger commercial ones.
As for Tennessee's larger commercial caves, several are not only known world wide for different things associated with
them but are also registered as United States Natural Landmarks. One such cave is known for being America's deepest
commercial cave with a depth of 1,120 feet below a mountains surface and has a 145 foot waterfall within it. Another
boasts of having America's largest underground lake at over 4 acres and located 140 feet below ground. This cave, at
lake level, has a constant year round temperature of 58 degrees. You can actually take a ride in a glass bottom boat
and watch trout swimming underneath the boat thanks to underwater lighting. Still another is known world wide for its
huge population of hibernating bats. One of my favorites is known as Tennessee's largest show cave
and is home of
"Bluegrass Underground". This monthly bluegrass concert takes place in the "Volcano Room", a large cavern 333 feet
underground, and is broadcast on 650 WSM Radio out of Nashville and can be heard at wsmonline.com every Saturday at
5:00 P.M. Eastern Time.
North Carolina, by contrast only has 1 commercial cave that is located near Marion. Also, unlike most of Tennessee's
caves, this one is only open on a daily basis between March 1 and November 30, and weekends in December.
As with most other things on the options page we can offer varying degrees of tours from mild to wild, from an hour
to overnighters and most everything in between. There are tours where you can walk through to tours where you have to
get down, get dirty and crawl around. We can even offer wedding packages inside a cave. Whatever your interests we will
work with you to provide a memorable experience.