Cumberland Caverns

Gypsum Flowers in the Crystal Palace section (restricted to the public)

Cumberland Caverns is the second longest cave in Tennessee that has been registered as a national natural landmark. Located in McMinnville, TN, it opened for business as a show cave in 1956 with generations of Tennesseans enjoying tours of it's underground passages. Cumberland Caverns holds live concerts known as "Cumberland Caverns Live" in its famed "Volcano Room" and has included acts like Sister Hazel and Kip Moore.

The main entrance to the cave was discovered by Aaron Higgenbotham in 1810 while surveying the Chickamauga Trail on Cardwell Mountain. The cave became known as Higgenbotham Cave. Another nearby cave, Henshaw Cave, which was used as a source of saltpeter (used in the production of gunpowder) used possibly during both the War of 1812 and the Civil War, eventually proved to connect when members of the National Speleological Society made their way through a passage called the "Meatgrinder" in 1953. 

Today it operates as a commercial cave, concert venue, and has even been used in the filming of the 1985 movie "What Waits Below".

:"Moby Dick Formation"

Selenite Needles

Chandelier in the Volcano Room

Concerts in the Volcano Room

Enormous Gypsum Flowers in the restricted Crystal Palace section

"Angel Hair"

For tickets and tour times visit their website!

In addition, I'd encourage you to check out the National Speleological Society's website and consider joining a local Grotto (caving club) where you can sign up for trips to caves like this and learn from experienced cavers


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