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The Smoky Mountains are one of the great natural wonders of the United States, but the area is known for more than just the splendor you see above ground. There’s a lot going on below the surface as well. If you’re looking to satisfy your inner spelunker, then grab your flashlight and check out the Forbidden Caverns. 

Sevierville’s Premiere Caverns

Tennessee actually has the most caves in the entire country, and fortunately, some of the most spectacular ones are available as educational excursions. You don’t need any special training or gear to explore these amazing natural wonders.

Tours of these caverns are guided by some seriously experienced folks, so you’ll not only be taking in the sights, but you’ll have those sights contextualized by local experts. Everything from the lighting to the sounds has been carefully constructed to give you the most educational and intriguing experience possible. 

Arrowheads and Moonshine

In the past, the Forbidden Caverns were just that, forbidden. People used to make moonshine down there during prohibition. Looking back even further in time, the caverns were frequented for their flint or chert, which were used to make arrowheads. 

Step even further back, and you’ll see a resting place used by many Native American hunters, who sought out the Forbidden Caverns as an impromptu break room full of security and much-needed water. The water is thought to come from an underground lake beneath the English Mountain. 

All this history and more, including captivating Native American legends and tales, will be relayed to you by the experienced tour guides that work in these caverns. 

Since 1967, the caverns have been open for public tours. The paths are well kept and there’s plenty of light so you can get a really good look at the onyx and dripstones that glitter along the walls. Exploring these Smoky Mountain caves is an educational experience that’s also plenty of fun. 

The Forbidden Caverns are open from April through November (spelunking isn’t really a winter sport, after all). So if your Tennessee vacation falls during the spring, summer or fall, then get ready to start brushing up on your stalactites and stalagmites. You can check out more about the Forbidden Caverns on the tour company’s website. Seeing Tennessee from the outside is one thing, but this is your chance to get a look inside these historic areas!