Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee; 2016


In October 2016; Becky, (my wife) and I flew to Tennessee for Fall Break. We stayed near Fall Creek State Park.

Fall Creek Falls and Cumberland Caverns area map

     The Fall Creek State Park is over 26,000-acres (110 km2).  It is centered on the upper Cane Creek Gorge, an area known for its unique geological formations and scenic waterfalls. The park’s namesake is the 256-foot (78 m) Fall Creek Falls, the highest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River, (pictured below).

Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee October 2016

     Our next visit was the Cumberland Caverns. Three hundred feet below the surface of the ground these remarkable caverns were formed some 500 million years ago by the erosive action of the prehistoric Gulf of Mexico, which then extended this far north.  A stream flows through the entrance gallery into a crystal-clear pool.

Pool near the entrance of the Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee

The caverns follow: the Graveyard, the Popcorn Bowl, and the largest of the tour, the truly cavernous Hall of the Mountain King—600 ft. long, 140 ft. high, and enhanced with curious formations called the Pagodas and the Chessmen.

Pagodas and the Chessmen found in the Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee
Cave formation in the Mountain King of the Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee
Becky taking a break in front one of the Pagodas in the Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee

     There in the largest portion of the cave we found an auditorium where the locals come to show off their Bluegrass skills, (pictured below). It seemed to have perfect acoustics.

Auditorium in the Cumberland Caverns, (notice the chandelier from Italy)
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