Smoky Mountains Underground Attraction
Anywhere you visit in East Tennessee, the earth below your feet is riddled with caves–thousands of them–extending for mile upon mile deep in the stony layers. Most of these caverns have never been seen, and probably never will be. Others, though, have been used by people for thousands of years for storage, shelter, and of course, moonshining far from the prying eyes of the authorities. Many of the caves have been opened to the public and make for a great excursion during your vacation stay at Carr’s Northside Cottages.
Located in Sevierville TN, Forbidden Caverns makes for a perfect day trip either to beat the summer heat (temperatures in the cave remain at a comfortable 58 degrees year-round) or to take advantage of the pleasant autumnal weather for a day out and about. From Carr’s, you can travel the bigger highways through Pigeon Forge and Sevierville (a 45 minute trip without traffic) or you can opt for the more scenic route along the edge of the National Park on US 321 (around an hour of beautiful country driving).
The cave itself is a well-lighted affair with music accompaniment to your tour. In some ways, the cave tour is more like a combination natural wonder/theater light-show. Expect to spend an hour walking through the spectacular formations and features, all with fanciful names like Valley of the Moon or Ledge of the Gargoyle. You’ll also see a replica moonshine still, as the cave has been used in the past for distilling because of the privacy and ready supply of clean, clear water.
If you’ve never visited a cave, be aware that you’ll want to wear some trustworthy footwear that you won’t mind getting slightly damp. A trip during the summer means taking along a jacket, which seems strange when the sun is beating down, but the cool cave feels even colder when the temperatures outside are soaring.
Tours begin at 10 a.m., with the last tour leaving at 5 p.m. Forbidden Caverns is open April through November, Monday through Saturday. Plan to make a whole day out of your excursion, with a picnic lunch either on the way at the Cosby entrance to the National Park, or on the way back. Visit the cavern web site for a sneak peek!
April – November
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day
Closed December – March
455 Blowing Cave Road
Sevierville TN 37876