Most people know that Tennessee is an excellent destination for all kinds of attractions and entertainment. However, many people don’t realize that some of the state’s most beautiful sights are found underground. In fact, Tennessee has more caverns than any state in the union. Even with such a wealth of caves in Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas really stand out from the rest.
Tourists won’t have to go any farther than Sevierville to find the best cave attraction in the state. Guides at the Forbidden Caverns take guests on the tours are remarkably well informed and adept at answering almost any question. Access to the cave has been improved with walkways and appropriate handrails without detracting from the natural beauty of the formations. The entertaining and informative tours lead visitors along the path of a sparkling stream and through several breathtaking grottoes. Management at the cave has placed special lighting effects and included a stereophonic sound system to enhance guest experience. The cave’s calcite formations grow and change with the passage of time, making it necessary to indulge in repeat visits. People have been coming to the caves for hundreds of years, but it took many years of development for Forbidden Caverns’ owners to prepare the property for public view. The job was completed in 1967 and Forbidden Caverns was opened to the public. It’s been in operation ever since, enabling visitors to see impressive onyx formations and the hidden niches where moonshine was once distilled.
This Townsend attraction boasts onyx formations and a beautiful double waterfall. The caverns are estimated to be several million years old, and one of their most impressive features is the “Big Room,” a soaring chamber that never fails to astonish guests.
Not the deepest cave in the area, Alum Cave is 500 feet in length and roughly 80 feet high. To reach this cave in Gatlinburg, visitors must take the Alum Cave Trail located off Newfound Gap Road, south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. This hike is moderately difficult, and ascends 1,125 feet in elevation towards the top of Mount LeConte. During the civil war, the Confederate Army mined saltpeter to make gunpowder in this cave.