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Caves Amaze: There are 10,000 caverns in Tennessee, here are the best ones

Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Tennessee Dept. of Tourism)
Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Tennessee Dept. of Tourism)
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With 10,000 caves, Tennessee is a must-stop spot for those looking to venture underground.

Whether it's curiosity, exploration, or sheer adventure fueling you - some say the Volunteer State boasts the most caves of any state in America.

Tennessee State Parks says most caves can be found in the eastern two-thirds of the state in areas with limestone, a rock laid down "as calcium deposits on the bottoms of shallow oceans, millions of years ago."

When exposed to rain and flowing water, limestone erodes leaving channels and cavities.

Explorers will find lots of secondary formations in these rocks, like stalactites, stalagmites or flowstone. In some cases, remains from thousands of years ago have been discovered.

"These remains can be from the Native Americans, and be thousands of years old. Some caves may have remains from saltpeter mining dating to the Civil War, or the War of 1812. Some caves might contain the remains of old moonshine stills, placed in caves to avoid detection during Prohibition. But all of these cultural remains are important and most very sensitive." - Tennessee State Parks

Over the years, some Tennessee caves have been transformed into music venues and the acoustics are out of this world.

With the help from the Tennessee Department of Tourism, we've compiled a list of some of the best ones.

“I think Tennessee having such humid and hot months throughout the yearit gives a way for you to go underneath and explore in a cool environment,” Jill Kilgore, Public Relations Media Manager for the tourism department, said.

*But make sure to know before you go: state park caves are closed from September through April while bats are hibernating in the winter months!

Check out this map for a road trip to some of the state's most beloved caves!

The Caverns: Grundy County

A world-renowned destination beneath the ground awaits you at The Caverns.

It gained notoriety for its Emmy-winning PBS TV series, Bluegrass Underground. Just check out the sound explosion during one of their concerts!

While you're there, check out the new The Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater that opened last year.

At The Caverns, we literally emerged from the darkness of the cave to the light of an open space on our grounds where we built The Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater. On a beautiful hillside overlooking Payne's Cove, we're able to bring back live music in a responsible way.

Location: 555 Charlie Roberts Rd, Pelham, TN 37366

Cumberland Caverns: Warren County

Cumberland Caverns has been serving up bluegrass music and underground adventure since 2009.

Explorers can take advantage of concerts, daytime tours and overnight spelunking trips.

Why not make it a weekend and visit the nearby Fall Creek Falls State Park, Rock Island State Park, Center Hill Lake and Savage Gulf - home to some of Tennessee's most mesmerizing waterfalls?

MORE HERE: Tennessee has hundreds of waterfalls, here are the best ones

Location: 1437 Cumberland Caverns Rd, McMinnville, TN 37110

The Lost Sea: Monroe and McMinn Counties

Want to see the largest underground lake in North America? Then The Lost Sea is Sweetwater is your destination spot.

Take a glide on the lake in a glass-bottom boat.

You have never seen, heard, or done anything like this before Listed in the Guinness Book of Records!

Location: 140 Lost Sea Rd, Sweetwater, TN 37874

Raccoon Mountain Caverns: Hamilton County

Looking for something a bit more shiny? You can actually pan for gemstones at Raccoon Mountain Caverns in Chattanooga!

The vast cave system also offers wild cave expedition tours, camping, cabins and recreational activities, like go-kart riding. It was also listed as TripAdvisor's #1 thing to do in Chattanooga.

Location: 319 W Hills Dr, Chattanooga, TN 37419

Dunbar Cave State Park: Montgomery County

Travel back in time to the site of significant prehistoric Mississippian Native American cave art dating back to the 14th century!

It's all at Dunbar Cave State Park in Clarksville.

Sitting on 144 acres, this adventure is family-friendly with guided cave tours, live music, festivals and events throughout the year.

Stay up to date on their Facebook page.

Location: 401 Old Dunbar Cave Rd, Clarksville, TN 37043

Bell Witch Cave: Robertson County

Seeking something a little...spooky? Head on down to the Bell Witch cave, said to be one of the most haunted places in America.

The Tennessee Bell Witch is probably one of the most famous ghost stories across the country. Why is it so well known? Maybe because it is the only ghost claimed to have been seen by a U.S. President, or because there have been more than a dozen eyewitness accounts, including two well-respected ministers.

"I heard the footsteps come all the way to the door and stop. The hair on the neck stood up. I grabbed a bat and jumped out into the hallway. There was no one. I am here to tell you someone was in the house."

A MUST WATCH: Family member shares unknown, haunted side of Tennessee Bell Witch story

Location: 430 Keysburg Rd, Adams, TN 37010

Ruby Falls: Hamilton County

Home to the largest underground waterfall in the U.S., Ruby Falls is available for day and nighttime tours.

It's a favorite among families who are enchanted by the 145 foot-high waterfall.

“I love the history of Ruby Falls and Leo Lambert who accidentally discovered it and then named the falls after his wife," Kilgore said.

Location: 1720 South Scenic Hwy Chattanooga, TN 37409

Forbidden Caverns: Sevier County

Nestled near the Great Smoky Mountains, Forbidden Caverns will treat guests to unique rock formations, natural chimneys, grottos and even a stream.

Hundreds of years ago, the cave was used as a shelter in the winter and the cave river provided a constant supply of water. And these caverns have a story:

An interesting Indian legend explains the fate of an Indian princess who was lost in a "hollow mountain of two streams"..." which is forbidden".

Later on down the road, the caverns turned out to be an ideal location for Moonshiner's and were used to make their homemade whiskey in the 1920s through the 1940s.

Location: 455 Blowing Cave Rd, Sevierville, TN 37876

Appalachian Caverns: Sullivan County

Enjoy the majesty of nature at the Appalachian Caverns in Blountville, Tenn.

Explore caverns underneath the ground and enjoy a campground, picnic area, gem mine and gift shop.

Plan your weekend getaway at Appalachian Caverns here.

Location: 420 Cave Hill Rd, Blountville, TN 37617

Bristol Caverns: Sullivan County

Timeless beauty awaits at the Bristol Caverns in northeast Tennessee.

It's complete with paved, well lighted walkways that wind through vaulted chambers along the banks of the ancient Underground River.

The river carved these caverns from the hard core of the earth 200 to 400 million years ago, the website says.

"You will be retracing the same warrior paths while exploring the vast rooms and arches, columns, and natural stone formations of varying size and kinds. These formations, millions of years old, display rich veins of minerals which give the formations beautiful colors of red, blue, gray, brown and sparkling white."

Learn more about safety at Bristol Caverns here.

Location: 1157 Bristol Caverns Hwy, Bristol, TN 37620

Tuckaleechee Caverns: Blount County

Known as the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies."

They're estimated to be between twenty to thirty million years old!

Walked through the natural-carved pathways and take in "Silver Falls," the tallest subterranean waterfall in the Eastern U.S. at 210 feet-high.

Location: 825 Cavern Rd, Townsend, TN 37882

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