Appalachian Caverns and Campground, located in Northeast Tennessee just outside of downtown Blountville, is a glorious example of the majesty of nature.
It is the perfect destination to experience amazing natural beauty located deep beneath the Earth’s surface. The site features guided tours of the caverns, a campground, picnic area, gem mine, and gift shop.
You can take their standard one-hour tour and be amazed at what Mother Nature has done UNDER the ground in Tennessee. More extensive exploring options are available.
Archaeological evidence released in February of 2006 revealed that the caverns were used by Early Woodland Native Americans over 1300 years ago. The archeologists found burnt firewood located in a fire pit that has been radiocarbon dated to 675 A.D. They also found pottery, arrowheads, and other evidence of habitation.
The log cabin located on the property was discovered to have been built in 1777. Historical documents located in the Sullivan County Archives indicate the caverns and cabin were used as a stopover point and shelter during the harsh winter months as settlers were making their way westward. Due to the size of the cavern it could handle housing larger groups of people and because of the wind flow, fires could be built for heat and cooking. With the abundance of bat dung (an important ingredient in the making of gunpowder at the time) and the fairly consistent temperature, this made the cavern a good place to stay when the weather was cold.
Come see for yourself. They are open Mon – Sat 9AM – 6PM and Sunday 1PM – 5PM. You don’t need reservations although it is always a good idea to call ahead.
By Paul Kavanaugh