March 17, 2016

Our Awesome Spelunking Adventure at Cumberland Caverns

McMinnville, TN

Crawling through mud, wiggling sideways through narrow passageways, climbing over cave walls, and sliding down slippery mud-covered slops. One of our best adventures yet.


The Cumberland Caverns, located in McMinnville, Tennessee, are one of the “most extensive known caves in America.” The system was discovered in 1810 by surveyor Aaron Higgenbotham. Higgenbotham ventured into the cave alone and was trapped for three days on a high ledge when his torch went out.

waterfall in cave

Today more than 32 miles of the cave system has been explored. We took the Higgenbotham’s revenge, rated as challenging and taking roughly 4 hours.

“The tour begins with a 1 1/2 mile hike to the Higgenbotam Entrance. You will encounter narrow passageways, ladders (some up to 20 feet high) and muddy trails.

This tour didn’t disappoint. By the time we were done, we were covered in mud and ready for more.

Unlike our past experiences at Mammoth Caves, it was just the two of us and our guide, Josh. Josh’s knowledge of the history of the caves, creatures, and geology were very helpful. He never rushed us, even when I stopped to look at every tiny salamander I saw, and he was friendly.

Amie climbing through cave Steve climbing through cave Amie

To learn more about the HIggenbotham’s Revenge tour or see what other tours are available, visit the Cumberland Cavern website.

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