Smoky Mountain Caverns
Did you know that Tennessee has the most caves of any state in America? 8,350 registered caves to be exact. Wow! Here, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we have two spectacular caverns that offer guided tours to visitors in the area. These are two of the most fascinating sights you can take in while vacationing in the Smokies, not to mention one of a kind.
Known as the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies” Tuckaleechee Caverns is located in Townsend, Tennessee which is roughly 25 minutes from our Pigeon Forge Condos. Around 1850, miners were watching water pour into a sinkhole and they discovered an opening into the cave. On those hot summer days, those that knew about the cave would sit along the opening so they could feel a bit of that cold air pouring out. In 1931, the caves were opened to the public. Then in 1955, electric lights were added when the Big Room opened to the public. The guided tours last about an hour and a half and you get to go through several rooms within the cave. You will go roughly 450 feet below the entrance to the cave and will travel along an underground river. If you have been on a tour of a cave before, you know that you usually are not allowed to touch anything. At Tuckaleechee, there are several large formations that the guides allow you to touch, which is always real interesting to the children. Tuckaleechee Caverns is incredibly rich in history and in lore. The tour guides are highly praised often for their knowledge and storytelling. This is a fun attraction that is definitely off the beaten path, but so worth it. Both adults and childrens are bound to have a fun time at Tuckaleechee.
Hours of Operation
March 15-March 31 10AM-5PM
April 1-October 21 10AM-6PM
November 1-November 15 10AM-5PM
Children 4 and Under-Free
Directions to Tuckaleechee Caverns
Home to one of the largest walls of cave onyx in the entire world, Forbidden Caverns is an entertaining way to spend an hour or two. Located in Sevierville, Tennessee, this cavern tour is very kid friendly. Visitors are provided with an educational tour that shows many formations, towering natural chimneys and grottos. They even do a light show to explain the history of the cavern. Kids always seem to really enjoy that part of the tour!
The Cherokee Indians once roamed these caverns and used it as a shelter in the winter. They would used the flint and chert found in the cave to make arrowheads and knives. From the early 1920s through the early 1940s, this cave was home to a moonshine business. The constant water supply that runs through the cave made it a great place to set up shop. In 1967, the cave opened for tours and the tours last about an hour. The tour takes you about half a mile into the cave. You are allowed to take pictures while on the guided tour. There is a souvenir shop, picnic pavilion and refreshment area on site as well. The temperature is always a refreshing 58 degrees.
*A Cherokee Legend influenced the Name
It is said that a Cherokee Princess got lost in a “hollow mountain of two streams…which is forbidden.” In the video below, one of the guides tells us that they think the Cherokee told their children legends about the cave being forbidden so that they would not try to wander the caves alone.
Hours of Operation
Open Monday through Saturday from April to November from 10AM-6PM
Children 5 and under are Free
Directions to Forbidden Caverns
Located only a short drive from Pigeon Forge. It is located at 455 Blowing Cave Road.
The Smoky Mountains are such a fabulous place to spend a vacation. There are tons of attractions and adventures that you and your family can get into when visiting the Pigeon Forge area. We would love to have you spend some time in the area and would love to help you find a condo to fit your needs. Give us a call at 800.429.4361 and let us help you plan your best vacation yet!
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