The Incidental Tourist

Tuckaleechee Caverns, Townsend TN

Travel Photo: Tuckaleechee Caverns

One thing we enjoy doing on road trips is stopping to see things that are slightly off the beaten path.  Things back up twisty roads in the woods with small signs to point the way at each turn.  Things that have bumper stickers and billboards along the highways enticing you to enter and explore.

This was a set of caverns that we’d seen the billboards for over the last few years, but never stopped to check out.  On this most recent trip through the Smokys, we took the time to visit the Tuckaleechee Caverns.

I’ve been to plenty of caverns in my life, having also enjoyed spelunking as a hobby when I was younger, and having an interest in geology, I’ve toured many caves and caverns in the mid-atlantic area.  These were nice.  Not spectacular like Lauray, or “So Cheesy they’re Cute” like Dixie, but they were nice.  There were some very nicely formed features inside, running water and even a waterfall.

The highlight was a small alcove created by stalactites that formed a curtain, and if you stand in them just right and hum, your hum is amplified greatly into a haunting sound that would be at home in any horror film.

What I really liked about these was that the tour guides were knowledgeable about the area and the history of the cavern, and didn’t just make things up to answer question, and they were fun to just chat with.  More so, I loved that the tour was actually almost 2 hours long.  Most of these commercial cavern tours last around 30 – 45 minutes at best, this one was very much “at your pace” even as a group, and there was a lot of trail to cover in the cavern system.

Of course, being commercial, the paths were all concrete and smooth, with handrails in most places, but that’s to be expected from an operation that caters to tourists of all manner from all over the world.

We had a great time wandering these caverns with our small tour group and guide.  This was definitely a fun way to spend part of an afternoon just wandering about the Smoky Mountains.

Photo taken at: Tuckaleechee Caverns

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