When people are visiting Gatlinburg, they generally want to experience the beauty of the area. The Smoky Mountains around Pigeon Forge are a beautiful sight to see. You have lush greenery, beautiful mountain views, and amazing hiking trails. One of the best natural attractions in the Gatlinburg TN area is the Forbidden Caverns. This amazing set of caves is a must see when visiting this area.
What Are the Forbidden Caverns?
The Forbidden Caverns near Gatlinburg are a set of caves that lie about 45 minutes outside of downtown Gatlinburg. The Forbidden Caverns come with a guided tour that lasts about one hour to complete and it is sure to impress you with the combination of history, natural wonder, and beauty. The cave tour descends several hundred feet below the surface and features a crystal clear underground river, several grottos, towering chimneys, rock formations, and cavernous rooms. The most interesting thing about the caverns is that the temperature stays at constant 48 degrees throughout the year.
History of the Forbidden Caverns near Gatlinburg
The history of these caverns dates back to the Eastern Woodland Indians. This group of Native Americans used the cave as shelter during harsh winters. The name of the caverns comes from an old Indian legend of an Indian princess that got lost forever in the forbidden hollow mountain of the two streams. In several larger rooms of the caverns, Native American artifacts were discovered and preserved at the University of Tennessee. From the early 1920s until 1943, the cave was used to manufacture illegal alcohol called moonshine. The moonshiners likely chose these caverns due to the hidden location and the 98% pure fresh water supplied by the underground rivers. In 1943, the hiding place of the moonshiners was discovered by authorities and the still was destroyed. The extraction of the giant still was difficult, and metal pieces can still be seen in the cavern today.
Visiting the Caverns
Visiting the Forbidden Caverns near Gatlinburg is always a great time. The guided tour provided at the caverns generally lasts an hour, so plan on being there at least for that long. Parking is provided at no cost for visitors at the onsite parking lot. There is also a souvenir shop and a refreshment stand for visitors and the caverns make a great location for a family pick nick. This location is a must see local attraction near Gatlinburg TN.