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Walking Tour

Cardwell Mountain History Tour

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Time: 45 Minutes


Group Size : Groups of 2+


This one’s for the history hounds and curious cavers. You need a break without breaking a serious sweat.

Break up the monotony and travel into a different time through our underground time machine with the Cardwell Mountain History Tour at Cumberland Caverns. Open to any-aged explorer, this adventure features a 45 minute walking tour through our world 333 feet below. This NEW-to-2023 tour avoids all stairs and dives a little deeper into the historical aspects of our cave’s discovery and exploration.

Learn the heroic feats of those that discovered the “Meat Grinder”; who some of those early cave-exploring pioneers were;  how cave dirt holds the magic ingredient for gun power (saltpeter mining); and about our founder and the iconic chandelier he installed on the ceiling of our World-Famous Volcano Room.

If you have been to Cumberland Caverns before be prepared to be WOW’d with a brand new tour with MORE amazing information about our cave. This tour focuses on the history of our cave and the people who made it possible. The tour will not cover all aspects of Cumberland Caverns. We have so many stories to tell that we have developed additional tours to give each story justice!

Note: This shorter cave tour does not go to the back to see our light show. 

Please note that you must be checked-in for all tours a MINIMUM of 15 minutes ahead of tour departure time. 

We HIGHLY recommend making advance reservations due to limited capacity. You must book online at least 2 hours prior to departure! IF there are any spots left on tours that are less than 2 hours away can they only be purchased in person, 1st come, 1st served.

  • Girl looking up at a stalagmite in the caverns
  • Tour guide talking to a family outside the Caverns

Physical Expectations

0.75 miles
  • Rocky, dirt surface with a few uneven slopes to walk up and down. NO STAIRS!
  • No climbing or crawling on this walking tour
  • Not handicapped accessible.

Tour Highlights:

  • Detailed History of Tennessee’s largest Show Cave
  • Stalagmites and stalactites
  • Caving History, Caver Stories
  • Top view of World-Famous Volcano Room featuring the famous chandelier from the Loews Metropolitan Theater in New York
  • Saltpeter mining & carbide lantern information
  • Learn about Cave Conservation and Organized Caving (Grottos, the NSS)


4 and Under: FREE
5-12 Years: $16.95
13 and Up: $24.95

View More Walking Tours

Lanterns & Legends Tour Information

Venture into Cumberland Caverns purely by lantern light...if you dare! Ages 13+ $29.95, Ages 8-12 $21.95.

Time: 90 Minutes

Age Requirement: 8+ years old

Group Size: Groups of 2+

Private Discovery Walking Tour Information

Bring your family and friends for a private VIP tour through Cumberland Caverns.

Time: 105-120 Minutes


Group Size: 2+

Discovery Walking Tour Information

Experience the wonder of the famous light show, the beauty of the Hall of the Mountain King, and learn all about the natural world of caves. Ages 13+ $28.95, Ages 5-12 $20.95, Ages 4 & Under FREE

Time: 90 Minutes


Group Size: Groups of 2+

*Private tour times will be decided at booking

All tours are non-refundable