11 Best Hidden Caves To Explore In Tennessee

If you want to see some of the most interesting caves in the Volunteer State, you’re in for a treat.

In this guide, we’ll detail (with photos) the eleven best caves you can explore in Tennessee.

Cumberland Caverns

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Located in McMinnville, Cumberland Caverns boasts over 32 miles of caves and underground passageways. Visitors can marvel at the majestic rock formations and underground waterfalls.

It’s famous for hosting the unique Bluegrass Underground concerts, combining natural acoustics with musical performances.

Bell Witch Cave

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Near Adams, the Bell Witch Cave carries a spine-tingling legend of the Bell Witch, a spirit haunting the Bell family in the early 19th century.

Tourists can explore the cave and learn about the eerie tales and historical significance of this site through guided tours.

The Lost Sea at Craighead Caverns

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Situated in Sweetwater, this cave houses America’s largest underground lake, The Lost Sea.

Visitors can enjoy guided tours that include a boat ride on the lake, surrounded by stunning caverns and rare anthodites (“cave flowers”). It’s an adventure that combines natural beauty with fascinating history.

Appalachian Caverns

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Appalachian Caverns, located near Blountville, offer a mix of history, geology, and adventure.

Tours lead through spectacular underground chambers and past ancient formations. For the more adventurous, there are spelunking tours that go deeper into the unexplored parts of the cave.

Nickajack Cave

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In the heart of Marion County, Nickajack Cave is a partially flooded enclave famous for its miraculous bat flights at sunset during summer months.

Visitors can kayak to the cave’s mouth to witness thousands of bats emerge in a breathtaking natural display.

Ruby Falls Cave

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Nestled within Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Ruby Falls Cave is home to America’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public.

The guided tour not only explores the stunning waterfall but also features colorful cave formations, making it a mesmerizing visit.

Forbidden Caverns

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Located in Sevierville, Forbidden Caverns offers a glimpse into Tennessee’s underground landscape, featuring sparkling formations, natural chimneys, and grottos.

Guided tours explain the cave’s history, including its use by Native Americans and moonshiners.

Tuckaleechee Caverns

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Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend are known as the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies.”

Visitors can explore the massive caverns and see the impressive Silver Falls, a 210-foot underground waterfall.

Its large chambers and incredible acoustics make it a natural wonder.

Racoon Mountain Caverns

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Located near Chattanooga, Racoon Mountain Caverns offer tours ranging from easy walks to wild cave adventures.

The cave features amazing stalactites, stalagmites, and unique crystal formations. It’s a perfect spot for those looking to mix adventure with natural beauty.

Sequatchie Cave

Found in Marion County, Sequatchie Cave is a state natural area offering a unique ecosystem with a constant water flow that supports rare species.

While the cave itself is not open for public tours, the surrounding area is ideal for nature walks and observing the cave’s entrance and spring.

Timothy Demonbreun’s Cave

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This historic cave, located in Nashville along the Cumberland River, is named after the 18th-century French-Canadian fur trader and Nashville’s first settler, Timothy Demonbreun.

It’s a site of historical interest rather than natural beauty, offering insights into early settler life and survival strategies.