Cumberland Caverns has an incredible waterfall with a ‘parachute’ formation that has enchanted visitors and mystified scientists since its discovery. Origins of where the water flows from and to have never been determined. State researchers and universities have conducted dye tests above and below ground but to no avail; the water source and ultimately the destination, both remain a mystery.
Two other formations are clearly visible in this area, a sitting cocker spaniel dog and also an owl. White crawfish call the crystal clear pool below home.
During the War of 1810 and the Civil War, water from the falls was diverted to the first room of the cave and used in the leaching process of saltpeter, a key component in gunpowder. Caves in Tennessee were also widely used by moonshiners, especially during prohibition. We have not found any evidence Cumberland Caverns was used to distill spirits, but early explorers to the cave would fill their canteens at the waterfall before heading out on their journey.