How to Tuckaleechee Caverns Townsend, Tennessee
Taking a trip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee is a great vacation spot. The mountains provide a reprieve from daily life and provide many natural getaways. Hiking trails, waterfalls, scenic outlooks, and tours all provide ways of seeing and enjoying the mountains. Another, less common approach to seeing the mountains is from underneath. Caverns have been carved under the mountains for tens of thousands of years and many are open to the public. Here is a glimpse into Tuckaleechee Caverns (825 Cavern Road, Townsend, TN 37882).
Tuckaleechee Caverns Townsend, TN
The Tuckaleechee Caverns are less than an hour drive from Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The historical significance of the caves dates back to a time when Cherokee Indians used the caverns in the 1800′s. The discovery of the caverns my early settlers was not until the middle of the 19th century.
The naturally cool air in the caverns makes this a great summertime destination when visiting the Smoky Mountains. The cavern air is around 58 degree year round.
A stream flows through the entire length of the cavern and is feed by local rain waters. The water is filtered by the ground as it makes its way to the depths of the cavern and provides a crystal clear stream for visitors to see.
The only changes to the caverns are the area near the entrance and the pathways leading around for visitors to witness firsthand the great awesomeness found only under the mountains. The caverns are estimated between 20 and 30 million years old and are filled with cave formations such as stalagmites, stalactites, chandlers, and columns all made out of cave onyx.
Tips on Touring Tuckaleechee Caverns
Tip #1: Take a jacket or light sweater. Even though you may be visiting in the middle of a very hot summer, a light jacket will come in handy on the tour. The caverns can feel quite cool on the hour long tours.
Tip #2: Bring your own flashlight (Mini Maglights brand flashlights work the best). Although not a necessity as the walkways are well lit and the tour guide uses a flashlight to point out cave structures, it is fun to have your own. You can explore crevices and darker areas of the cave along the tour and may even catch a glimpse of a rare guest such as a bat, frog, or spider.
Tip #3: Call ahead to ensure the caverns are open. Seasonal variations in weather may cause the cavern tours to be suspended. (865) 448 -2274. Typically the caverns are open 7 days a week from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm.
Tip #4: Arrive early. Smaller groups will be on the tours early in the day. This will make asking questions easier and tours more private as you explore “The Greatest Sight Under the Smokies”.
Tip #5: Were comfortable shoes such as hiking boots or gym shoes. The floor of the caverns can get slippery when wet. Wearing flip-flops or high heels are not the best choices of footwear.
Check at restaurants or hotels for discount coupons and brochure packets advertising Tuckaleechee Caverns. You can save a few dollars for each person taking a tour with coupons for Tuckaleechee Caverns. Even if you don’t find coupons it is still worth the trip to see this beautiful natural formation.
Taking time to visit the Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, Tennessee as part of a family vacation to the Smoky Mountains will add adventure and excitement to any trip. Plan a day around the caverns by packing a picnic lunch or planning on stopping by a roadside BBQ on your way back to Pigeon Forge.
Have you toured the Tuckaleechee Caverns? How was your experience and do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to post questions or comments.
- Otel.com is a leading online travel distributor specializing in discounted hotel bookings for both business and leisure travelers.
- Hotels.com offers more than 85,000 properties worldwide in over 400 destinations - from hotels and B&B's to condos and all inclusive resorts.
- Hotwire is a leading discount travel site that delivers hotel, rental car and airfare deals that can't be found on other travel sites.
- Expedia is a leading online travel agency that offers airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and travel activities.
- Priceline offers travel discounts on hotels, airline tickets, car rentals, vacation packages, and more with regular promotional discounts.