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World’s Largest Diamond Discovered In Middle Tennessee

Cardwell Mountain Finally Gives Up Her Secrets After The World’s Largest Diamond Is Discovered In Middle Tennessee

The world’s largest diamond has been discovered hidden deep below the Tennessee mountains in a remote area of Warren County located on the Cumberland Plateau. This region, rich in heritage and history, now has another jewel in its crown with this uncovering of momentous proportions.

“When we first laid eyes on the gem, we weren’t exactly sure what we had, but we knew it was priceless and something that needed to be shared with the world. We are extremely excited for everyone to come and experience this once in a lifetime discovery.” -Kelly Roberts, Marketing Director for Cumberland Caverns

Visitors have been pouring in from all around the world to witness the beauty and take in the wonders of the cave for the past 62 years, and with the unveiling of this jewel, attendance numbers are set to skyrocket.

“Gems of this magnitude and clarity are the rarest, but the fact it has been unearthed inside a commercial cave in Tennessee is unfathomable,” said Yardis Alpolfo, world renowned gemologist and former cave guide.

Recently, a contest was held to find a name fitting for a jewel of this magnitude and “Prila Lofo” which is Rapil for “Live” was the overall winner for its beauty and simplicity. The diamond, ‘Cumberland Caverns Live,’ symbolizes the magnificence of growth and hidden treasures 333’ below the surface. The cave welcomes you to come and experience the magic for yourself while making memories that will last a lifetime.


Make sure you prank your family and friends today!

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey Show 2018

Learn More About The Birds Of Prey Show

People often ask “what animals can you find inside Cumberland Caverns?” It’s not very often we can reply “birds and snakes have been discovered inside the Volcano Room,” but for three more dates in 2018, that will be our answer as the Birds of Prey take the stage.

Monica Johnson, Park Ranger at Cumberland Mountain State Park, joins us for an hour-long program to introduce and educate guests on the types of predatory birds and snakes found in Tennessee.

Visitors are encouraged to participate by answering questions for prizes, and various feathers, bones, and props are sent around the room for a unique, hands-on experience.

Show Information

Dates: May 5, August 25, October 6
All shows begin at 4:00 pm CST

$5 per person with 100% of ticket sales going to the Birds of Prey program.

The Birds of Prey show is included with the purchase of a Caveman Campout on those dates listed ($47). Check-in times for overnights on those days will be at 3:00 PM inside the cave.


Contact us for more information!

333’ below is a perfect place to combine education, exploration, and adventure,  and we welcome you to join us for this special event. Come for the show and stay for the night. Call 931-668-4396 or email us at for more information.

Spirits of the Caverns Lantern Tours

Spirits of the Caverns Social

Book Spirits of the Caverns Lantern Tour For Oct. 26-31

Are you ready to venture into the darkness of the cave this Halloween?

If you are among the brave, book your reservation for Spirits of the Caverns Lantern Tour. This tour will take you further back into the cave than any other walking tour before. You will enjoy the incredible stories of the caves colorful and eerie past.


Dates & Tickets

  • Available Oct. 26-31 beginning at 5:30 PM (CST)
  • Call (931) 668-4396 to make reservations
  • $21 Adult Ticket
  • $13 Children (ages 12 and under)
  • Not recommended for children under 10

Mysterious Footprints

Spirit of the Caverns FootprintsStories have circulated for years about the appearance of bare footprints appearing inside Cumberland Caverns in the 10-acre room and beyond. The footprints always spring up from nowhere, without a beginning or an end. They appear where no living soul has been for days. The footprints also lead and then vanish, into nothingness. Some are very distorted while others are near perfect. Often there’s only one print and other times there’s a cluster of uncertainty going in many directions all at once. Join us to see these mysterious footprints for yourself!

Cumberland Caverns Primitive Camping Adventure

Book Your Primitive Camping Spot At Cumberland Caverns

We now offer primitive camping spots at Cumberland Caverns. Take advantage of our beautiful setting here on the Cumberland Plateau. Bring your camping gear to enjoy caving and wildlife in your own little backyard. Water/electric hookups are not available. However, we do have restrooms and showers on site.

How It Works

Our Primitive Camping spots are just $5 a day and require a Driver’s Licence and Licence Plate Number at check-in. Reservations must be made over the phone at (931) 668-4396.

Trick Or Treating & Movie Night In The Cave – Oct 21

Trick or Treating & Movie Night Oct. 21

Bring your family to Cumberland Caverns for a family-friendly night of Trick or Treating in the cave! Wear your favorite costume and be ready to have fun. Plus, we will also have a special showing of “Goosebumps” the movie! It’s a Halloween tradition for kids of all ages!

Trick or Treating starts at 4 p.m. CST
“Goosebumps” movie starts at 6 p.m. CST
$5 per person
$15 Family Four Pack Special

Our friends at 105.3 WOW Country will be at the cave doing a live remote broadcast from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. During this time they will be giving away lots of great prizes including free movie passes, adventures, concert tickets, and even four tickets to the Tennessee/Vanderbilt game!

New Lantern Tour Unveiled At Cumberland Caverns For October

Lantern Tour At Cumberland Caverns

Join us to see what waits beyond the darkness in our all-new Lantern Tour!

People have often asked what is just beyond the darkness of the 10-acre room? Now that question will be answered when you join us during the month of October for our brand-new Lantern Tour.

The warm glow of the lantern will guide you further into the cave than ever before on the Daily Walking Tour. In this 1.5 hour excursion, you will experience stories of the caverns before electricity made it into the caves, witness fascinating historical graffiti, catch a glimpse of gypsum lining the walls and maybe even see a bat that lives in the caverns! Also, discover stories of how the community would come together for ‘Hay Wagon Parties’ to enjoy fellowship, music, and friendship long ago.

Departs Daily at 5:30 PM (CST)
Reservations Required

  • $35 Adult Ticket with Lantern Purchase
  • $21 Adult Ticket
  • $13 for Children Ages 6-12
  • Free for Children Ages 5 and under

Lantern Tour

Departing every day at 5:30 pm CST, we will step back in time and trace the footsteps of early explorers to show you the cave like you have never seen it before. Exploration and imagination are heightened amidst the warm amber glow of a natural flame as you are guided further into the cave than has ever been offered on our Daily Walking Tour.

This extended walking tour will take you back to the Devil’s Quarry (a spectacular breakdown area) and will lead you past the entrances to our most popular adventure tours. The Lantern Tour is for anyone wanting to see more of what waits just beyond the darkness, but are not quite ready to make the leap into spelunking.

Purchase Guidelines

During the month of October, this tour will be available by reservation only, limited to groups of 20 or less. This brand new tour will be offered at a special Daily Walking Tour price. Thinking about bringing your group? Call about our special rates for groups!

Book online or call Andrea today at 931-668-4396 to reserve your spot.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

2017 McMinnville Mountain Crawl – September 23

Mountain Crawl at Cumberland Caverns – September 23

The Mountain Crawl

Are you up for the challenge of the 2017 Mountain Crawl? Get ready to test your abilities deep within Cumberland Caverns as you run, climb and crawl your way to find hidden treasure, bicycle across the beautiful countryside of middle Tennessee and then set sail on a kayaking trip that leads to the finish line and some amazing prizes! If you think you and your friends have what it takes, register today!

Racers will enjoy three legs of the race beginning with a run through Cumberland Caverns (approx. 2 miles). Once leaving the cave, racers will transition twice starting with a cycling leg (bring your own bike) including a scenic ride into downtown McMinnville, then a kayak race courteous of Smooth Rapids Outfitters. *New route 2017: Participants will bike from Cumberland Caverns to Smooth Rapids (7.4 miles) and grab a supplied kayak there and paddle to the VFW (Approx 6 miles)!

Mountain Crawl is set for September 23, 2017, at 9 AM (CST). Register as an individual or a team.

Race Day Registration
Individual: $45
Team: $75

A FREE event t-shirt is included in the registration fee. There will be live entertainment and refreshments available at Smooth Rapids following the event!

Learn more about the course, equipment needed, prizes and more at

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 are 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.

Cannot combine this offer with any other Cumberland Caverns offers. Only valid on Daily Walking Tours. Not valid on prior purchases. ©2017 Cumberland Caverns


Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

CavEclipse 2017 Solar Eclipse Tailgate Party At Cumberland Caverns

Join Us For A Once-In-A-Generation CavEclipse Viewing Aug. 21

In celebration of the Solar Eclipse, we are hosting a CavEclipse Tailgate with amazing prize giveaways!

This once-in-a-generation solar eclipse event truly is a must see! Gather your friends and family for an exciting CavEclipse Tailgate at Cumberland Caverns! We are giving away some exciting prizes including Bluegrass Underground concert tickets, Season Passes and much more!

Book your spot now and get ready for CavEclipse 2017! All reservations must be made online! Gates open at 8 a.m. CST on Aug. 21. Walking tours available throughout the event every 30 minutes!

Earlybird Tickets


Standard Tickets


School Groups


*FREE cave tours for children 5 & under. There is a $4 per child fee for the meal and eclipse blackout glasses.

Parking Spaces

Fifty (50) shaded tailgating parking spaces are available for only $10! You may bring your grills, coolers, etc. to observe this historic event with your family and friends! Green space is available and included in admission cost. Tents and picnicking welcomed. Restroom access is available.

* You must have a valid proof of purchase to claim your tailgating parking space the day of event.

Tailgating Parking Spaces

(Only 50 shaded tailgating parking spaces available)

Each Ticket Holder (Including Teachers) Receive:

  • Same Day 1.5 Hour Walking Cave Tour
  • Viewing Glasses
  • CavEclipse 2017 Glow in the Dark Bracelet
  • Hot Dog, Chips, Bottled Water or Sun Drop Soda, Moon Pie & Milky Way!

*FREE cave tours for children 5 & under. There is a $4 per child fee for the meal and eclipse blackout glasses.


Over 20 prizes will be given away during the event including:

  • Bluegrass Underground Concert Tickets for Two
  • Cumberland Caverns Season Passes
  • Walking Tours
  • Caveman Dolls
  • Rocky Topper Adventure Tours

WATCH: Travel Channel’s Epic Campsites Featuring Cumberland Caverns

Travel Channel's Epic Campsites Featuring Cumberland Caverns

We made the Travel Channel’s list of Epic Campsites airing July 1 and July 6!

Watch the Travel Channel’s Epic Campsites airing July 1 & July 6. They searched far and wide for the most “mind-blowing campsites in Mother Nature’s best spots” and Cumberland Caverns made the list.

  • Saturday, July 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern / 12 p.m. Central
  • Thursday, July 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Central

Set your DVR and tune in for an up-close view of the extraordinary underground camping experience here at Cumberland Caverns. Also, check out the other Epic Campsites they visited.

Are you ready to explore? Stop waiting for the time and start making the time for new adventures. Book an exciting caving experience today!

Cumberland Caverns – where adventure runs deep!

Cumberland Caverns: Top contender for this year’s STAYCATION award!

Visit Middle Tennessee for a Staycation at Cumberland Caverns

The perfect staycation getaway awaits in Middle Tennessee!

Are you looking for an out of the ordinary vacation destination this year? If so, Cumberland Caverns has the perfect getaway just waiting for you in the heart of Middle Tennessee!

Spend the day enjoying great entertainment at a Bluegrass Underground show, take on one of our adventure tours, hike the beautiful Trail of Tears on our property, and finish it all off with a Caveman Campout inside the cave.

If you are looking to extend your stay, check out these great attractions within 30 mins of the cavern:

  • Smooth Rapids Kayak Rental
  • Fall Creek Falls
  • Rock Island State Park
  • ISHA

Also remember to visit picturesque downtown McMinnville where the community’s rich history comes alive. Come for the day or stay for the week. There’s always plenty of outdoor activities, fresh air, and beautiful landscapes to make your vacation into a memory of a lifetime.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Cave Life May 2017


Cave Life May 2017

Coming Up On June 6: National Day of Caves and Karst

The National Caves Association has declared June 6 as National Day of Caves and Karst to increase awareness of the roles, both play in our lives and the environment.

“There’s just so much to see, learn and discover under-ground,” says Patty Perlaky, president of the National Caves Association. “Our hope with the National Day of Caves and Karst on June 6 is to encourage people to tour at least one cave this summer.”

Five Reasons To Visit A Cave



According to the NCA, here are five reasons to visit a cave near you

  1. See things you have never seen before. No two caves are alike. There are many caves with water features, such as underground rivers, pristine lakes, and raging waterfalls. Cumberland Caverns has the waterfalls, sparkling pools and so much more to experience and enjoy.
  2. Spend quality time with family. Some of the best memories are made during summer vacations and staycations.
  3. Cave tours are educational and teach you about the history of the cave and surrounding areas.
  4. Spending time in nature has many benefits. Multiple studies show that nature boosts our mental and physical well-being.
  5. Caves are fun. These aren’t your grandfather’s cave tours. Options for exploring and spending time in caverns are increasing each year. In addition to walking tours and spelunking, guests are now treated to concerts, boat rides, and even kayak rentals inside some caves.

In Middle Tennessee, we live in a karst area. There are five unusual surface features in a karst region, which includes: springs, sinkholes, sinking streams, cave entrances, and underground streams. Living on land with Karst features is like living on Swiss cheese.

There are about 17,000 known caves in the United States. They occur in every State except Rhode Island and Louisiana. About 125 caves have been opened to the public for study and enjoyment. Of these, 15 are in national parks or monuments, and 30 are in State parks. The remainder is privately owned and operated. Most of these caves are in the Appalachian Mountains, the Ozark Mountains, the Black Hills, and the limestone regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Make plans to go underground this year and experience a magnificent world hidden just beneath your feet.

Special thanks to the NCA and USGS for contributions to this article.




Summer adventure awaits!

Join us each Tuesday and Thursday, June 1st through August 31 at 12:45 p.m. CST, for our spelunktacular Rocky Topper Adventure Tour.

Twist, turn, climb and wind your way through passages deep within the cavern as you and your group enjoy the cool 56-degree climate, share lots of laughs, and make many happy memories.

The Rocky Topper adventure is about 3⁄4 of a mile, takes approximately 2.5-3 hours to complete and is of moderate intensity.

Cost: $40 per person

Ages: 6 and up

Difficulty Level: Moderate




Bluegrass Underground

  • June 3 – The Revelers
  • June 17 – Larry Stephenson Band
  • June 24 – Peter Rowan
  • July 15 – Jesse McReynolds Band
  • August 12 – Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
  • August 26 – Maura O’Connell

Contact Bluegrass Underground for the latest updates.

Meet The Grand Lady



Grand Lady of the Ballroom

Every cavern boasts unique qualities not found in any other cave, but Cumberland Caverns took it to another level when a stunning 8.5’x15’, 3⁄4 ton chandelier was raised to light the Volcano Room in 1982.

The grand lady of the ballroom was acquired from the Loew’s Metropolitan Theatre in Brooklyn, NY. She had been rescued by Roy Davis, who just so happened to be at the location to purchase a massive pipe organ during one of the theater’s final renovations in the early 1980’s. The story goes, workers had intended on cutting the cable and letting the beautiful antique hit the floor, but upon hearing of their plans, Mr. Davis offered to take the chandelier along with the organ, and the manager agreed to include it in their deal.

The chandelier hung at the historic theater for over 50 years and witnessed the evolution of film from the time it opened on September 15, 1918, until its closure in 1996. During that time, it accumulated a lot of smoke, dust, and popcorn grease. How do you clean a chandelier? Well, according to Roy Davis, you spray it off at the carwash. Roy also tells a funny story of chasing crystal beads all over the parking lot as well.

After the chandelier was in place inside the cave for a year, employees noticed beads accumulating on the floor underneath. Upon closer inspection, it was learned the wires holding them in place were rusting in two. The Grand Lady had to be removed and underwent a complete restringing of the metal wires to copper line. This process was done over a two-year period with friends gathering on weekends for dinner stringing parties. She now has a solid foundation that will last for years to come.

And that is the tale of how a beautiful, priceless crystal chandelier from New York came to call a cave in Middle Tennessee home.

On a side note, the Loew’s Metropolitan Theater underwent a massive restoration from 2000-2002 and is now the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.


Grand Lady of the Ballroom at Cumberland Caverns

Loew’s Metropolitan Theatre: Brooklyn, NY 1918-1996

Grand Lady of the Ballroom at Cumberland Caverns
Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns Home of Bluegrass Underground

Cumberland Caverns: Volcano Room 1982-present

HLN Visits Cumberland Caverns

HLN Visits Cumberland Caverns

HLN’s Bob Van Dillen and Crew take on Higgenbotham’s Revenge

Cumberland Caverns recently welcomed CNN Headline News’s own Bob Van Dillen, when he and his crew came to take on the Higginbothams Revenge adventure tour for a recent segment of “Conquer This.” The popular weatherman and Cumberland Caverns General Manager, Robby Black, spent the day crawling, climbing, and laughing their way through the rugged and challenging terrain deep below Cardwell Mountain in McMinnville, Tennessee. The footage gathered from their excursion was shown nationwide on the popular “Morning Express with Robin Meade” program on May 9.

About the adventure, Robby noted,

“This is the only time a drone has been allowed to fly inside the cavern and the views from the many different perspectives it captured are absolutely fascinating. Working with HLN was definitely a fun experience. They love what they do, almost as much as we do here at Cumberland Caverns, and it shows in their quality of work and the comradely between the group. As always, showing people who have never witnessed the beauty of the cavern, or taken an adventure spelunking tour, is beyond gratifying.”

The Higgenbotham’s Revenge tour starts out taking you on a 1.5 mile trek across the mountain to a hidden entrance where you will begin the journey of a lifetime. As you make your way through the cave, you will witness some of nature’s most beautiful underground scenery, all while pushing yourself to new heights and gaining insurmountable confidence in your abilities. This tour is now being offered as an overnight package for you and your group to come and experience the wonders of a world hidden deep beneath your feet with the added bonus of spending then night inside the cavern.

Pictured above: Robby Black, Ryan Bergeron, Bob Van Dillen, John Rubenstahl, Keith Lovely Jr., Ferre Dollar.

Cave Life April 2017

Welcome back to the Cumberland Caverns “Cave Life” Newsletter.

Were you aware there are 10,309 known caves in Tennessee? In fact, Tennessee boasts the highest number of caves in the U.S. with the majority running right down the middle of the state. For a natural earth cavity to qualify and be listed as a cave on the Tennessee Cave Survey database it must meet or exceed the following measurements: horizontal length 50ft., total vertical extent of 40ft. or a pit depth of 30ft. Cumberland Caverns exceeds these guidelines and is ranked among the largest caves in the world.

2017 April Newsletter_Map

More Cave News

What is a Cave

A cave is a natural void under the earth’s surface, and most caves are formed in soluble rock, usually limestone. Solution caves are formed over millions of years when rock is slowly dissolved by slightly acidic water. Terrains that show evidence of solution caves, such as sinkholes and springs, are called Karst. Cumberland Caverns is known as a solution cave and was formed by two underground rivers. When these two rivers converged, creating a whirlpool, they carved out what is now known as the ‘Volcano Room.’ Evidence of this can be seen in the beautiful sculpted ceiling that covers the great hall.


The importance of cave preservation is monumental for our environment and history. Karst regions are bountiful in the most beneficial spring water, rare animals, and minerals not found anywhere else on earth. Research done in caves also provides scientist with valuable insight on the geological and climate change of the area. Caves also preserve fragile archaeological and paleontological materials for millennia.

Cumberland Caverns is committed to cave conservation through commercialization and are thrilled to be able to share this amazing experience with all of you. We know you’re going to love this adventure, and miracle of nature, as much as we do.

“Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints.”- National Speleological Society


Spelunking is extreme hiking done deep beneath the earth’s surface. When you venture below for the experience of a lifetime, you never have to worry about inclement weather or pesky bugs ruining your outing. If you want to take adventure to the next level, join us for a Caveman Campout. Schedule your reservation today.

*Rocky Topper is also offered every Saturday at 1:00 CST with no reservation required.


Bluegrass Underground

  • May 6 – Town Mountain
  • June 3 – The Revelers
  • June 17 – Larry Stephenson Band
  • June 24 – Peter Rowan
  • July 15 – Jesse McReynolds Band

For the latest updates and concert information:


Cave Life Feature

Big Smo Plays For Charity

April 1st welcomed very talented artists Big Smo and Hayden Carpenter to the stage in a charity event held for Monroe Carroll Jr.’s Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

When the cave was initially approached by Jamie Brock and Marie Ann Turpin about doing the fundraiser, we knew this was an opportunity to help the community, but had no idea to what extent. The hard work by Jamie, Marie, and all the volunteers was well rewarded as they were able to submit a check for over $10k to the hospital to help better the lives of others in need. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is very close to the hearts of many, including first-hand experiences by many people in attendance, and both Ms. Brock and Big Smo. Big Smo’s daughter was born prematurely and he and his family spent a lot of time at the facility counting down the days until they could take her home.

During Big Smo’s performance, he requested an entourage of help on stage from the children in attendance. What fun they had being Smo’s backup singers, dancers, and stage support. It will be a memory that lasts a lifetime for sure!

The cave would like to thank everyone, the guests, volunteers, and artists for coming out and making this event such a huge success. We appreciate the opportunity to help make miracles happen.


For almost 60 years Lewis Lamon, Jr has called Cumberland Caverns his home away from home. Most of you know Lewis from your visits to the cave, as he was on hand daily to greet and entertain guests with his wonderful stories of the cave transformation over the years. We just wanted you to know, Lewis suffered a heart attack recently. He is doing great, but while he is recuperating, we thought it would be nice for his cave family and friends to reach out and send him some well wishes for a complete and speedy recovery. If you would like to send Lewis a card, his address is: 415 Pace St., McMinnville, TN 37110.

Dollywood and Cumberland Caverns Team Up for Savings

Special Offer From Dollywood and Cumberland Caverns

The hills of Tennessee are coming alive with entertainment and excitement in 2017 as Dollywood and Cumberland Caverns team up to bring you savings on family fun and adventure. Nothing says ‘Tennessee’ more than these two treasures, and this year you can save up to $20 at the theme park and up to $12 at the cave when you present your season pass or ticket stubs.

How It Works

Bring your Dollywood Season Pass to the cave and receive $2 off an adult admission or $1 off a child’s admission for our Daily Walking Tour. On the tour, you will be entertained by the history of our cave and enchanted by a beautiful world hidden just beneath your feet. Daily Walking Tours leave out every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. CST

Take your Cumberland Caverns ticket stub to Dollywood and enjoy $5 off your daily park admission. The theme park launched their 2017 season on March 18 with great music and food, exciting rides and attractions, and lots of festivals and events.
Learn more at

What You Need To Know

Dollywood Offer:
Offer: $5 OFF One-Day Admission Ticket
Timing: Valid any operating day during the 2017 season.
Restrictions: Limit 4 one-day admission tickets each visit. Tickets can be upgraded to a Season Pass day of visit ONLY.

Cumberland Caverns Offer:
Offer: $2 off Adult and $1 off Child Admission for the Daily Walking Tour
Timing: Valid any operating day in 2017 (Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and open at 1:00 p.m. on Easter Day)
Restrictions: Limit 6 Admissions

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

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:

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!


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.





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


  • 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.