Did you know that there are over 10,000 caves in Tennessee? There are miles of extraordinary subterranean adventures just waiting for you to explore. Tennessee has more caves than any other state in America, making it the perfect place for an unforgettable underground experience. Come caving in Tennessee!
The majority of caves lie in the eastern two thirds of the state. Here, layers of limestone have developed from calcium deposits that used to sit on the bottoms of shallow oceans millions of years ago. Over time, rainwater and river flows have carved out breathtaking caverns.
Lots of historic remains and artifacts from Native Americans and early explorers have been found in Tennessee’s caves. Several of them offer family friendly tours where you can learn about the people who once lived there and the way they used the caves to survive. The historical significance of these caves combined with superb natural acoustics have even led to several of them being converted into music venues.
Here are a few of our favorite caves to visit:
Craighead Caverns– home to the country’s largest underground lake, the Lost Sea- peer into it’s depths from a glass bottom boat
Racoon Mountain Caverns– pan for gemstones
Ruby Falls– home to the largest underground waterfall in the US, day and night tours are available
Bell Witch Cave – thrillingly haunted
The Caverns– location of wild underground concerts
Bunkum Cave– location where Cordell Hull’s father made moonshine in the 19th century
Those hot and humid Tennessee summer months give locals and visitors alike the perfect excuse to climb underground or be on the water. Be sure to bring water and a flashlight and check local, park and specific cave regulations for all safety precautions before exploring!