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“Dangerous in extreme......” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Tuckaleechee Caverns

Tuckaleechee Caverns
825 Cavern Rd., Townsend, TN 37882
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Ranked #2 of 32 things to do in Townsend
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Knoxville, Tennessee
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Dangerous in extreme......”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

Even being objective, I strongly disagree with many other visitors. This is the most dangerous, poorly kept cave we have experienced anywhere in the world!! And we have been in many, many caves. Nothing much seems to have been done to make it safe or attractive since it was first opened over 40 years ago. Including the pitiful toilets! A tourist trap in the extreme.
Electric cords everywhere, no rail by very steep drop-offs, uneven stairs that are dark in MANY places and slippery. And, there are over 400 steps, if I recall. Especially taking 2 grandchildren (ages 5 and 7) was a traumatic experience.
Never were we so glad to leave a place 'whole' in our lives. Everything in the gift shop cheap and overpriced as well.
Admission far too expensive for the experience. Should be inspected for safety violations and closed! We did have a great guide, but this was the only positive part of the visit.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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425 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A bit clausterphobic, but still a wonderful tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We visited this cave in May 2013 with our almost-3-yr-old and our 5 yr old. You descend many stairs, then follow a path to the right and back to the stairs, and then follow the path to the left and back to the stairs. (Like a T-shaped route). I am clausterphobic and afraid of heights, but the boys wanted to do this hike so I sucked it up and went. The cave was awesome. You were able to get up close to the different formations. We visited Mammoth Caves (Frozen Niagra Tour) on the same vacation and preferred this cave, due to the personal nature of the tour and the tour guide. The guide we had was really fun and knowledgable, but he said a few things that made me nervous. (There was a terrible thunderstorm happening above ground while we were below, and two of the lights in the cave 'popped' and turned off. He said, "Hm, that has never happened before." Also, when we got back to the T in the trail at the mid-point of our tour, there was water pouring down the stairs in a torrential waterfall, which he also said he had never seen before. Being clausterphobic and having our two small kids with us, I was nervous and anxious and asked if we could cut our tour short and go back up the steps. He was very kind and accommodating, and got another tour guide to come down the steps to escort us back up. I think the circumstances we experienced were unique (due to the extreme storm raging above ground) and the staff handled the situation well, so I was satisfied. The cave was awesome so I'm glad we went.

It was challenging with a 2.5 yr old. The railings were just one or two parallel (horizontal) bars and my child could have easily slipped under them if I did not have a careful grip on his hand. There were a few places with steep drop-offs on the other side of the railing. It was fine, but a tight grip on small children is definitely required. My 5-yr old did fine; he did have to hold Dad's hand in places, but I wasn't nearly as worried about him falling as I was the 2.5 yr old.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Palm Beach
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Fun and Interesting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

The caverns were even better than we thought it would be. Our guide was very informative and engaging and made the tour enjoyable for everyone. Our group consisted of varying ages--from 6 yrs old to over 70--and everyone thought it was well worth the time and money to experience. Be prepared to climb quite a few steps. The history of the caverns was interesting. I'd definitely recommend this to others.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“One big hole.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

Overall the caverns were very interested; however, I did notice several safety/electrical hazards during the tours that could easily be encountered by children. Repairs are needed.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evansville, Indiana, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great family fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

We are staying about 2 hours away from here at a golf resort town and decided to take a day trip on Halloween over to the east to see these caverns and the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. We were looking for more family friendly things to do as we have an almost 2 year old son and we thought this would be fun for him, as well as us. Tuckaleechee Caverns has been the highlight of our weeklong trip! My 75 year old grandmother decided to stay in the car and read, but my grandfather (who has done about 72 holes of golf this week) was able to make it through the cavern perfectly. There are essentially two halves of the cave -one with steps and steep drop offs, and the other is flat and open. For the steeper side (which is the first half) I wore our son in our Ergo carrier so that we did not have to worry about him letting go of our hand and falling. There are rails all along the path which I held on to and on stairs or steeper areas my husband held my other arm to brace me, but we wouldn't have needed to do that had we not wanted to be extra careful since I was carrying the baby. They also grouted the walkway to make it less slippery. The second half which was flat and open, we let our son roam around freely and he thought that was great.

We were led by a man (can't remember his name) who had just started working there a few months ago. He is a science teacher who moved to the area to be closer to his wife's family and is doing this while looking for a teaching job. He was *very* knowledgeable and also patient and understanding with our little one (we were the only ones on the tour); I *highly* recommend him, we learned a lot! The tour was about an hour - hour and fifteen minutes total.

The cavern has a wonderful stream through the whole thing that is so clear and tastes amazing (it's been tested at 99% pure -better than bottled water!). At some points the water only looks a few inches deep, but in reality it's about 8ft deep. The waterfall was really cool, as was the massive open room. There is also a seismic monitor in the cave and the day we were there it picked up on a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan.

Make sure to use the restrooms before entering the cavern and be aware that they look just like a bathroom from a horror movie -girls, make sure you can hover. Overall, I think this was a great thing to do with the whole family and well worth the 2 hour drive and the $16/person price tag.

p.s. If you plan on going from the caverns over to Gatlinburg, it says it's only 18 miles, but it does take about 45 minutes because you are winding through the mountains. It was the most amazing car ride though with plenty of places to pull over and take pictures and explore.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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