Cave Life March 2017

2017 March Newsletter Sally the Salamander

Welcome to the first edition of Cumberland Caverns “Cave Life” Newsletter.

A US National Natural Landmark located in McMinnville, Tennessee, Cumberland Caverns was discovered in 1810 by a land surveyor named Aaron Higgenbotham. Since then, the cave has been an important part of not only the history of Warren County, but also the War of 1812 and the Civil War, by the mining of saltpeter-which is used in the production of gunpowder.

In early years, the cave was a hot spot for hay wagon parties and an unofficial meeting place for the community. In 1956, fueled by the dream of Tank Gorin, Roy Davis, and A.W. Powell, Cumberland Caverns opened its doors to the public. The first years were slow, only seeing approximately 500 guests per year, but with the addition of several adventure tours, concerts, specials, and caveman campouts (that’s right, you can sleep in our cave), the attendance soared to over 52K in 2016.

The Underground

In 2008, Todd Mayo visited the cave with his family and upon crossing the balcony overlooking the Volcano Room lit by a massive antique crystal chandelier, he envisioned a grand concert hall filled with people and incredible music. He, along with his business partner Todd Jerrell, began producing an Emmy Award winning concert series shown on PBS from 333’ below. “Bluegrass Underground” and “Live from the Underground” offers not only the best in Bluegrass, but appeals to everyone with a wide range of Country, Americana, Rock, Soul, Jazz, Blues and everything in between. Concerts are held monthly and a listing of shows and more info can be found on their website at: BluegrassUnderground.com

Bring your family and friends to experience what others from all 50 states and 19 different countries already know there is something magical about Cumberland Caverns!

Adventure

Cumberland Caverns is now offering two of our most popular adventures as overnight excursions:

Higgenbotham’s Revenge (ages 12 and up) and Parts Unknown (ages 16 and up). Step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary when you take on one of our overnight Caveman Campouts. We have combined extreme hiking with underground camping for exciting adventures you and your crew will be talking about for years to come.

Whether you are looking for an escape or want to test your abilities, we have a spelunking trek that is just right for you. Call us today at 931-668-4396 and let us book the adventure of a lifetime for your group.

 

 

 

Events

Bluegrass Underground

  • March 24, 25, 26 – Season VII Taping
  • April 8 – The Larry Keel Experience & Rumpke Mountain Boys
  • April 22 – Dale Ann Bradley w/SHEL

Charity Events

  • April 1 – BIG SMO w/Hayden Carpenter for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Adventure

  • Rocky Topper every Saturday at 1:00 CST No reservation required.
Cave Life Feature

Going Batty at The Cave

Approximately 1500 little brown bats (scientific name: Myotis lucifugus) make Cumberland Caverns their home. Typically, bats live in areas of the cave that are not frequented by guests, but we do have a few who like to hang around on the rock ledges and overhangs of the Daily Walking Tour trail.

Our bats grow to about 3.5” and weigh about 1/4 of an ounce. Not only are they small, but they often blend in with the cave walls and go virtually unnoticed. Sometimes, you will see one fly high above the chandelier of the Volcano Room, but don’t worry, they are harmless and never come into contact with the humans below.

Bats are very important part of the ecosystem. They are the primary predators of night flying insects and studies suggest they consume 70% of their body weight each evening. That’s approximately 1000 insects per hour and nursing mothers can eat upwards of 4000 bugs per hour! Bats are also beneficial in pollination and seed dispersal. Most people think that only birds and bees aid in pollination, but bats are the nightshift of the operation.

If you see bats around your home, have no fear; contrary to the urban myths, bats aren’t looking to take a bite out of you, they are just searching for a safe and warm place to call home.

Bat Facts

  • Bats have excellent eyesight.
  • No vampire bats live in the United States.
  • Some bats hibernate for the winter, but can survive freezing temperatures-even after being encased in ice!
  • Bats typically only have one baby a year and they can distinguish their pup from thousands, even millions of others, by the way it sounds and smells.
  • Bat droppings (guano) are one of the richest sources of fertilizer.
  • The largest bat is the “flying fox” that lives on the islands of the South Pacific. Their wing span can reach up to 6 feet.
  • The smallest bat is the bumble bee bat of Thailand, which is smaller than a thumbnail and weighs less than a penny.

 

Spring Break – Extraordinary Escape!

Spring Break at Cumberland Caverns

Make An Extraordinary Escape During Your Spring Break To Cumberland Caverns!

Are you looking for an escape this spring break, but don’t want to venture too far from home? If so, Cumberland Caverns has the perfect getaway just waiting for you and your family in the heart of Middle Tennessee.

Join us on one of our Daily Walking Tours, book an exciting Adventure Tour, or spend the night in the cave on a Caveman Campout. Is outdoor hiking on your bucket list this season? The beautiful Trail of Tears, located on Cumberland Caverns property, offers a 5 mile trek up the mountain and is accessible 7 days a week.

If you are looking to extend your stay, check out these great attractions within 30 minutes of the cavern: Smooth Rapids Kayak Rental, Fall Creek Falls and Rock Island State Parks, ISHA, and don’t forget to visit our picturesque downtown McMinnville where the community’s rich history comes alive.

Come visit for the day or stay for the week. There’s always plenty of outdoor activities, fresh air, and beautiful landscapes to make your spring break into a memory to last a lifetime.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Big Smo Concert Benefiting Children’s Hospital

Benefit Concert Featuring Big Smo On April 1, 2017

Big Smo, along with Haden Carpenter, will perform at Cumberland Caverns for a benefit concert for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. The benefit concert is for all ages, so please join Big Smo, Haden Carpenter, and all of us in helping make this one of the most memorable benefits ever; help us give back to the ones who have helped millions.

Event Information

April 1, 2017
12 pm – 3 pm CST

Children Tickets (12 and under) – $15
Adult Tickets – $30

About Big Smo

As an artist, Big Smo lays down epic rhymes that challenge listeners to party when they can, to champion the values on which they were (or should have been) raised, to look straight into the eyes of life, to laugh and love and even get angry every once in awhile if that helps make things right.

About Haden Carpenter

Haden Carpenter was born and raised in Fort Smith, Arkansas. His musical journey began by singing in an Ozark Mountain church which led him to Memphis, Tennessee to study music in 2001. In Memphis, Haden honed his sound inspired by artists Otis Redding, Al Green, Booker T, Steve Earle, Don Williams, John Prine, and Stevie Wonder. After graduation he moved east to Nashville in 2008, and started writing and performing on a regular basis. In 2012, Haden joined the band of Warner Nashville recording artist Big SMO and has been touring with him as primary vocalist and guitar player, as well as being the opening act on several tour stops.

Event Contact
Jamie Brock at (931) 314-4584

*Sponsors: All sponsors will have their name with their logo on a banner that will be displayed the day of the benefit
*Donations: Donations that are $250 or more will receive 2 free tickets to the event. Donations that are $500 will receive 4 free tickets to the event.
*Meet and greet after the benefit concert*

Bluegrass Underground Taping March 24-25-26

Regular Cave Operations Suspended During Bluegrass Underground Taping – March 24-25-26

Bluegrass Underground at Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns will be closed for regular operations March 24, 25, and 26, 2017 as we host the upcoming seventh season taping of PBS’s Emmy Award Winning Bluegrass Underground concert series.

During the Bluegrass Underground taping weekend we will not offer the following:

  • Daily Walking Tours
  • Adventure Tours
  • Caveman Campouts

We are sorry if this causes any disruption to your spring break visit to the cave. This decision comes to better serve our valued guests with a more enjoyable experience without the large crowds and disruptions in tours.

Bluegrass Underground Ticket Holders

Tickets holders for March 24, 25, and 26 concerts, please see Bluegrass Underground for pre-show tour times, as they will continue as scheduled.

Thank you for choosing Cumberland Caverns as your vacation destination.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Extreme Hiking 333’ Below

Extreme Hiking Adventure at Cumberland Caverns

Adventure Awaits 333’ Below At Cumberland Caverns!

Everyone is looking for an escape this time of year, an opportunity to get out of the house and back into nature. Why not take your family on an Extreme Hiking Adventure 333’ below at Cumberland Caverns?

Spend a day at the cave trekking through some of the most beautiful underground passageways in the world. We have several spelunking trips to choose from, and one guaranteed to satisfy your sense of adventure while entertaining everyone in your group.

Don’t limit yourself to only hiking when the weather is agreeable outside; it’s always a perfect 56 degrees in the cave with no chance for rain or snow. Now is the right time to take your adventure to the next level!

If you are looking for a way to enjoy more time at the cave, join us on a Caveman Campout. Experienced guides will lead you on an adventure of a lifetime and leave you with wonderful stories and bragging rights about how you conquered the cave in an all-night excursion. This is one trip you and your family and friends will never forget!

Reserve your spot, or join us every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CST for the Rocky Topper Adventure Tour.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Groundhog Day Predictions

Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP

“6 more weeks of winter!”-Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day 2017

It’s Goundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil just saw his shadow, but here at the cave, we are bracing for 6 more weeks of prime spelunking weather! Step out of the cold this month and into an adventure of a lifetime at Cumberland Caverns.

Nothing beats the winter blues like a brisk hike in nature and for the month of February, we are going to add to your outing by offering a FREE Daily Walking Tour with any purchase of an Adventure Tour. Come and spend the day with your family and friends sharing laughs, enjoying quality time, and most of all–making memories!

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Please Note:

  • 1 Free Daily Walking Tour with any Paid Adventure Tour in February only.
  • Free Daily Walking Tour must be used on the same day the Adventure Tour is taken.
  • Free Daily Walking Tour CAN be used in conjunction with the “no reservation required” Rocky Topper that takes place every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CST.

Travel Channel Filming At Cumberland Caverns – Casting Call

Now casting families for a Travel Channel filming at Cumberland Caverns!

Travel Channel Filming At Cumberland Caverns

The Travel Channel will film an exciting show at Cumberland Caverns featuring extreme overnight camping adventures and you can be a part of it! In late March, Cumberland Caverns will play host to producers filming a show on extreme overnight camping adventures for the Travel Channel. We are putting out a casting call to all enthusiastic, adventurous families (ages 6 and up) who would like to join us, on camera, for a Caveman Campout inside the cave.

How To Apply

To be cast for starring roles in the adventure of a lifetime, all you have to do is record a short video of you and your family, upload it to your Youtube channel or to Dropbox, and share the video link via email to cavemancampout@gmail.com.
Email Kelly At Cumberland Caverns

Note: Video LINKS only, please DO NOT send videos directly to the email.

Here are a few examples of the information producers are looking to see in your video:

  • Tell about previous camping experiences.
  • Let them know who’s the most adventurous vs. the one that is not so much, or if you are all adventurers, by all means, do a little bragging.
  • If you have never been to Cumberland Caverns before, express how you feel about staying overnight in a cave.
  • Anything else you feel the producers should know about your family and what makes you perfect for this type of adventure.

If your family is selected to participate in this amazing overnight excursion, the caveman campout, and all food for the length of your stay inside the cave, will be provided by Cumberland Caverns at no cost to you. If this sounds like a challenge your crew is up for, and you are ready to descend 333′ below for a night of adventure and fun, submit your video today!

Submission deadline is March 1. No videos will be considered if submitted after this date.

FREE Walking Tours With Caving Adventures In Jan & Feb

Escape the cold and dive into ADVENTURE this Winter!

FREE Walking Tours In Jan & FebDon’t let cabin fever strike your family and friends again this year. Get a shot of adventure by visiting Cumberland Caverns and stave off the winter doldrums by scheduling one of our spelunking tours.

FREE Walking Tours

Cumberland Caverns would like to sweeten your day at the cave with a great offer. Book any adventure tour for January or February and receive a free Daily Walking Tour on the same day.* Simply book your tour then bring your receipt to Cumberland Caverns on the day of your Adventure Tour. It’s twice the fun and another opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime!

About Spelunking

What is spelunking, you ask? Spelunking is hiking with a delightful twist – no threat of inclement weather! Our cave stays a comfortable 56 degrees year round with no chance of rain nor snow in the underground forecast.

*Please Note The Following:

  • 1 Free Daily Walking Tour with any Paid Adventure Tour in January and February only.
  • You must show your valid receipt with a purchase date between January 1, 2017 and February 29, 2017 to receive the Free Daily Walking Tour on the same day of your Adventure Tour.
  • Free Daily Walking Tour must be used on the same day the Adventure Tour is taken.
  • Free Daily Walking Tour CAN be used in conjunction with the “no reservation required” Rocky Topper that takes place every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CST.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Ho Ho Ho Adventure Days at Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns takes the ‘Ba Humbug’ out of your holiday break with an adventure tour!

Ho Ho Ho Adventure Days At Cumberland Caverns

Grab the kids and pack your sleigh for an adventure of a lifetime at Cumberland Caverns! In December, the cave will be hosting 4 days of “no reservations required” for our most popular adventure tour the Rocky Topper. December 20, 22, 27, 29 at 10 a.m. CST, you and your crew can escape the winter blahs and cold weather by going on a spelunking excursion 333’ below the earth’s surface.

Rocky Topper – No Reservations Required Dates12/20

    • 12/20
    • 12/22
    • 12/27
    • 12/29

Tours begin at 10 a.m. CST – Please arrive 15 minutes early!

Twist, turn, climb and wind your way through passages deep within the cavern as you and your group enjoy the pleasant 56-degree climate, share lots of laughs, and make exciting memories that will last a lifetime.

About Rocky Topper

The Rocky Topper adventure is about ¾ of a mile, takes approximately 2.5-3 hours to complete and is of moderate intensity. This spelunking trip is designed for ages 6 and up and takes you through some of the most beloved areas of the cave – and with names like “Lemon Squeezer and Bubblegum Alley” you are guaranteed to have fun!

The Rocky Topper is offered anytime with a reservation and also offered every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CST without a reservation.

Holiday Hours

The cave will be closed December 24 and 25 for our employees to enjoy the holidays with their families.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Gift Certificates – Give The Gift Of Adventure!

Youth Rally Erupt at Cumberland Caverns

Give the gift of adventure with Cumberland Caverns Gift Certificates!

Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone who has everything? Why not give them a gift of adventure and the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime?

When you present someone with a Cumberland Caverns Gift Certificate, you are giving them something that will not soon be forgotten. Educational, entertaining, and fun for the entire family, a visit to the cave will encourage quality time, ignite their imagination, and get them active outside in nature.

Cumberland Caverns has a wide range of gift certificates to choose from and a memorable trip for everyone on your list:

  • Daily Walking Tours
  • Adventure Tours
  • Caveman Campouts
  • Individual and Family Season Passes

The gift of adventure is always the perfect size and never goes out of style! You won’t even have to fight the crowds when you order the gift of a lifetime by calling 931-668-4396! We will even mail it right to your door – FREE of charge.

This year, make memories at Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Bluegrass Underground Gift Certificates are available at BluegrassUnderground.com.

Incredible Class Field Trips At Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns welcomes class field trips for an unforgettable learning adventure!

Daily Walking Tours

Teachers, schedule your class field trip to visit the cave during the months of September 2016 through March 2017 and enjoy a $20 Gift Certificate to use in our gift shop. We will also add your name to our drawing on May 31st for the chance to win 2 tickets to the Emmy Award winning Bluegrass Underground concert series.

A visit to the cave is not only visually stimulating, but entertaining and educational as well. The Daily Walking Tour is designed to educate kids and adults alike with explanations behind the forming of the cave, how to tell the difference between stalagmites and stalactites, identifying cave critters, and tales of our place in Civil War history- just to name a few!

Rocks & More

If rocks are your passion, you could host an entire Geology lesson in our amazing gift shop where we have several large museum quality geodes on display. Your class can also mine for gems at our Gem Mining Sluice-prices start at $3.00 each plus tax. Our premium bags of gem rich soil are guaranteed to make any kid feel like a real gem miner and leave with the bounty of a pirate!

Is your class learning about money? Teach students to manage their shopping allowance while utilizing their addition, subtraction, and budgeting skills in our gift shop – where items start at just $1!

How To Book

Call 931-668-4396 today to reserve your next field trip. Please ask for Tammie and remember to mention the code EARLYBIRD16 to activate your gift certificate. The gift certificate will be given to you on the day of your visit and will be used as the entry form for the Bluegrass Underground ticket giveaway upon use. Limit: 1 $20 Gift Certificate per class.

RULES:

  • Public and Private School Teachers – one certificate per teacher per class.
  • Homeschool teachers with a group of 30 or more can also qualify for this offer. One $20 certificate per teacher with 30 students.
  • Reservations required.
  • Payment must be received in one single transaction- check or credit card.
  • Cannot be combined with any other offer or special.
  • You MUST mention the code EARLYBIRD16 during the reservation process to take advantage of this offer.

 

We hope to see you soon at Cumberland Caverns – Where Adventures Run Deep!

Year-Round ADVENTURE!

Year-Round ADVENTURE awaits at Cumberland Caverns!

The journey is definitely the destination when you take your hiking trip to the next level-UNDERGROUND! Explore your adventurous side in Mother Nature’s “climate controlled” world 333’ below the surface.

Every day it’s a perfect 56° with no chance for rain, and every opportunity for fun!

ADVENTURE!

Adventurers as young as six years old can hone their skills on the Rocky Topper. Sightseers will be amazed by the Glittering Pass. Experienced enthusiasts can test their skills with Higgenbothams Revenge, and real daredevils can challenge themselves on the Parts Unknown.

Caveman Campouts

Upgrade your daytime adventure to an overnight Caveman Campout. Stay the night in the Ten Acre Room. These underground campouts are offered year-round, and the weather is never a factor in the “climate controlled” cave.

Discover More

Need a perfect and unique gift for the nature lover in your life? Arrive at the party with a spelunking gift certificate and quickly become their favorite guest.

Whether you take a Daily Walking Tour, gear up for Daytime Spelunking, or bed down for an Overnight Adventure – pick your package and we will provide the magic.

Warning – Extreme fun and priceless memories await 333’ below at Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Choir in the Cave – WCHS Choir LIVE from Cumberland Caverns!

Warren County High School Choir will present Choir in the Cave on Oct. 22, to raise funds for travel expenses to the Disney Candlelight Processional at Epcot in Orlando, FL!

Are you looking for some PHANTABULOUS entertainment to kick off this Halloween season? There’s a spooktacular event brewing at Cumberland Caverns for October 22.

The WCHS Choir along with special guests, the Morrison Elementary Choir, will cut through the darkness of the world famous Volcano Room with their spine-chilling renditions of all your favorite Halloween classics. So, throw on a cloak and grab your ghouls, this is one concert you don’t want to miss!

Ticket Options

Tour & Concert
A Howling Good Time: $22 per person

Concert ONLY
Concert Cauldron: $10 per person

Tickets can be purchased exclusively through Cumberland Caverns until October 14 or while supplies last!

 

About Choir in the Cave

Choir in the Cave is a fundraising event! All proceeds from concert ticket sales will help fund the WCHS Choir’s travel expenses to the Disney Candlelight Processional at Epcot in Orlando, FL. This year marks the second consecutive year the group has received this prestigious invitation.

We don’t want to give away too much of the THRILLER, but THIS IS HALLOWEEN and you can expect a MONSTER MASH! The Select Ensemble will be the feature act with special performances by the entire cast and the Morrison Elementary Choir.

If you want to dress in your costume best, feel free to ZOMBIE UP and head on over for a good time underground! The cave is always a perfect 56 degrees, but NOT handicap accessible.

About WCHS Choir

In 2012-2013, the WCHS Choir began with 60 members who performed at several community events in the county and around the state. In a few short years, the group has grown to over 200 with a Select Ensemble of 45 auditioned students taking the lead. This year, the WCHS Choir has been invited to perform at the Disney Candlelight Processional at Epcot in Orlando, FL. Very few schools have had this honor and the talented Warren County choir has been chosen twice-they also performed there in 2015! Cumberland Caverns is committed to helping make that dream come true; therefore, all profits from the concert ticket sales will go directly into the school fund to get this group to Florida.

Youth Rally At Cumberland Caverns – Sept. 23-25

Three-day Christian Youth Rally “Erupt” set for Sept. 23-25 at Cumberland Caverns!

Erupt

Erupt is an intense three-day Christain Youth Rally with fun and learning designed specifically for young Christians (and aspiring young Christians). We invite you to discover the wonders of Cumberland Caverns, a historic national landmark, during this unforgettable weekend!

Speakers

This spiritually uplifting weekend will include speakers Ben Hays and Andrew Jenkins. Ben is the Pulpit Minister at the Highland Park Church of Christ in Muscle Shoals, AL. He is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and owns a small private practice. Andrew is the Youth Minister at the Woodson Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, TN.

Worship

In addition to Jerry Elder leading worship, the singing group Cornerstone from Faulkner University will perform Saturday evening.

Registration

Everyone who registers will get a tour through the cave and an experience like no other. The Registration deadline has been extended.
Register For Erupt

Caveman Scavenger Hunt at the Warren County A&L Fair

Next week kicks off a long standing tradition in Warren County-the A&L Fair.

Rides will be going up, cotton candy and caramel apples are on the menu, and fall is in the air. Ahhh…what a wonderful time of year!

To celebrate, Cumberland Caverns would like to add to the fun with a week-long Caveman Scavenger Hunt for some great prizes and tickets to adventure. Each day, Monday through Saturday, we will post a clue on our social media pages, and also in our booth, that will lead you to specially marked agate slices hidden somewhere on the grounds at the fair. These colorful stones, clearly marked with “Cumberland Caverns,” will be outside the attractions and in plain sight. When you locate one of the stones, take it to the Cumberland Caverns booth (located underneath the Grandstand) between the hours of 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. till 8 p.m. to redeem for your prize.

If you happen not to find one of the lucky stones, you can stop by our booth and register for a grand prize drawing on Saturday night for a chance to win two (2) tickets to the Emmy Award winning Bluegrass Underground concert series.

Be watching our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages beginning Monday, September 12 through Saturday, September 17 for a list of prizes and the clues to win some Cumberland Caverns loot!

Rules: You can claim only one scavenger hunt prize during the contest week.

Cumberland Caverns – Where Adventures Run Deep!

Free Kid Fridays This September!

Cumberland Caverns is hosting Free Kid Fridays throughout September!

Free Kid Fridays at Cumberland CavernsJoin us every Friday in September and enjoy two FREE child Daily Walking Tour tickets (ages 12 and under) with one paid adult ticket purchase.

On this tour, you and your children will witness the beauty of nature nestled safely under our feet. Watch your child’s eyes light up with wonder as they experience an underground world as vibrant as their imagination!

Not only is this tour visually stimulating, but entertaining and educational as well.

Making learning fun, the Daily Walking Tour is designed to educate kids and adults alike with explanations behind the forming of the cave, how to tell the difference between stalagmites and stalactites, identifying cave critters, and tales of our place in Civil War history- just to name a few!

If rocks are your passion, you could host an entire geology lesson in our amazing gift shop where we have several large museum quality geodes on display. You can also mine for your own gems in our Gem Mining Sluice-prices start at $5.99 plus tax. Our premium bags of gem rich soil are guaranteed to make any kid feel like a real gem miner and leave with the bounty of a pirate!

Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Daily Walking Tour leaves every hour on the hour.

Purchase Guidelines

Free Kid Fridays is only valid on the day purchased – any Friday in September. Tickets cannot be purchased for use on a future date. The adult ticket holder must accompany children on the Daily Walking Tour. Children will not be permitted to enter the cave without a guardian. Large groups please call for reservations so we can schedule additional guides.

 

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!