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Tuckaleechee Caverns, Townsend

4.7
#1 of 24 in Things to do in Townsend
Journey into an underground world when you tour Tuckaleechee Caverns. Admire the cave onyx formations, which are the beginnings of limestone that take a variety of shapes and forms, including skinny straws and draping cascades. See the underground stream and waterfalls that helped carve the impressive formations. Tours are conducted daily. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Tuckaleechee Caverns and many more Townsend attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Townsend holiday planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,402 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    This was our children's first cave your & they loved it! The cave is beautiful & pretty easy to walk. Some low points & quit a few steps but was fine for our family. The only reason I didn't give this...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Awesome tour. Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. Thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to anyone who goes to the Smoky Mountains.  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    Visited with our family- learned a lot of fun facts & information. Our tour guide, Sara, was knowledgeable and really wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. We were never rushed and she answered all of ...  more »
Google
  • June 11, 2017
    Very nice cave with a guided tour that takes about 2 hours. Guides are very knowledgeable about the history of the cave and this makes the tour much more interesting. Temperature in the cave is about 58 degrees year round (a bit chilly, but tolerable... Bring a light pullover). Total walk is about a mile. There are about 90 steps down at the beginning and back up at the end. Good, informative fun.
  • June 15, 2017
    Our family of 5 had a wonderful experience at the Tuckaleechee Caverns. Our guide Gavin was patient with the kiddos and very knowledgeable. He took some great family pics for us too. We were all amazed by the wondrous caverns to behold and the underground waterfall was beautiful. If you are anywhere near there we highly recommend it!
  • June 15, 2017
    Absolutely beautiful cave! Worth every stair in and out of the place, and more. My family and I have been there many times over the years and we always learn something new. This cave has a variety of formations, but is most amazing for its spacious rooms and abundance of crystal-clear water that is purified by the cave itself, and of which you are free to take as much as you want from the tour. Things to know: - It is usually 58° in the cavern year-round, so you'll want to take at least a long-sleeved button-up shirt, though you may end up removing it before the tour is over. - Take either a collapsible cup or a bottle so that you can try the cave-purified, mineral-rich water on the tour. The gift shop used to sell collapsible cups, but I did not see them the last time I visited. - Due to echoes, noisy/impatient children or people who talk while the guide is speaking will disrupt the tour for others. - While this is a family-friendly attraction, keep in mind that your children are your responsibility and should be made to understand beforehand that the cave is not a playground. Only you can decide if they are old enough or mature enough to comprehend that; but if they can't, you are putting them at risk by bringing them. You should keep a tight reign on children you bring who cannot stay still or are always running around; many areas along the path do not have handrails, bars, or any sort of containment, so it is easy to go off the sides of the path. This is a distraction and a safety issue. If you are unable to keep them on the path, you at the very least will leave with a dirty kid, as this cave is usually damp and muddy and much of what looks like rock next to the path is Tennessee red clay, which will stain clothing, and when wet is extremely slippery. If you are not so lucky, you could leave with a kid who reeks because they got into the bats' bathroom, or an injured child (or worse), because they slipped somewhere or got too close to the edge of a drop-off. - Damaging a cave formation will cost you $10,000. - Wear shoes that are okay to get a little dirty and aren't likely to slip. - If you have trouble with knee pain or other issues with stairs or inclines, this attraction is probably not a good option for you. That being said, the most stairs are at the beginning. Once you are down in the cave there are only minor slopes and a couple of moderately steep ramps. - If you are afraid of bats, don't let that hinder you. The first tour of the day is when you're most likely to see them. As for myself, I have never seen a bat on any of my visits to Tuckaleechee Caverns, though they are certainly there.
  • July 4, 2017
    The tour is worth admission. The story of the caverns is interesting and the time spent in the cave is ample. Do not go if you do not want to hike or climb. The staff were a little nonchalant about safety, but I kind of liked it. There was a bit of humor to the tour which was fun.
  • July 1, 2017
    My wife and I went there 6.18. 17. We really enjoyed the time we spent looking at these very spectacular formations inside. Our guide really let us take our time to get plenty of pictures and she was very informative. It was a group tour of about 15 people. Coming back out is a little bit of a struggle more than I was expecting but, that is the only negative to this place. The entire trip was close to a one mile walk. You need to be moderately physically fit to do this trip.

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Where to stay in Townsend

You'll find limited accommodation options in the tiny town of Townsend. You have the choice of a few privately owned bed and breakfasts, which offer a good selection of amenities including fitness facilities, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, in-room fireplaces, steam showers, and hot tubs. For a more outdoorsy experience of the Great Smoky Mountains, research the area's tent and trailer campgrounds; many provide hookups for both cable TV and high-speed Internet.
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