12 Must-Do Activities Near Cumberland Caverns

things to do near cumberland caverns

Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains is one of Tennessee's most prized possessions, the Cumberland Caverns. With its breathtaking natural beauty and intriguing history, it's no wonder it's a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. But the fun doesn't have to end once you exit the caves. From hiking to zip-lining, we've compiled a list of the 12 must-do activities near Cumberland Caverns to make sure your visit to this hidden gem is everything you hoped it would be. Are you ready to explore? Let's dive in!

Activity Description
Cave Tours Explore the largest show cave in Tennessee with underground waterfalls, pools, and unique formations.
Zip Lining Soar through the treetops on a series of zip lines that run over ½ mile long.
Hiking Take a hike on the nearby trails and enjoy the natural year-round beauty that surrounds you.
Camping Pitch a tent and stay overnight in the park’s canyon settings - a truly unique experience.
Rock Climbing Climb high above the ground on limestone cliffs and feel the adrenaline rush.
Kayaking Paddle through a scenic river winding through towering hills with class I and II rapids.
Horseback Riding Experience the park's beautiful landscapes on horseback and explore the surrounding countryside.
Fishing The park offers excellent fishing opportunities in the river and the lake.
Biking Bring your bike and ride the scenic roads and paths around the park.


Explore Cumberland Caverns

Source: TripAdvisor

Cumberland Caverns is a popular tourist destination located in McMinnville, Tennessee that offers a wide variety of things to do for visitors of all ages. The caverns are known for their stunning beauty and unique features that can only be found deep underground. Here are some of the best things to do near Cumberland Caverns:

One of the most popular things to do near Cumberland Caverns is to explore the caverns themselves. Guided tours take visitors deep underground, where they can admire the stunning formations that have been carved over millions of years. The caverns are home to impressive stalagmites, stalactites, and other unique formations that create an otherworldly atmosphere. Visitors can choose from a variety of tours, including a basic walking tour or a more adventurous spelunking tour.

Attend a Concert

Cumberland Caverns is also home to an underground concert series that features some of the best live music in the area. Visitors can enjoy intimate performances by artists such as the Allman Betts Band, Drive-By Truckers, and the War and Treaty. The caverns provide a unique atmosphere for concerts, with amazing acoustics and stunning natural surroundings. The concerts are a must-see experience for music lovers.

Go on a Hike

The area surrounding Cumberland Caverns is home to some beautiful hiking trails. Visitors can explore the nearby nature preserves and parks, such as Burgess Falls State Park and Fall Creek Falls State Park. These parks offer a variety of trails for all skill levels, from easy nature walks to challenging hikes that climb up to spectacular overlooks. Hiking is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of the area and get some exercise at the same time.

Visit Local Attractions

There are several local attractions near Cumberland Caverns that are worth a visit. The historic downtown area of McMinnville is home to charming shops, restaurants, and museums that offer a glimpse into the region's history and culture. Visitors can also check out local wineries or take a scenic drive through the countryside.

In conclusion, Cumberland Caverns is a great destination for visitors who love adventure, music, and natural beauty. With so many things to do nearby, visitors can easily spend several days exploring the area and enjoying all that it has to offer.


Hike along the Historic Trail

Source: Scouting magazine

If you're looking for things to do near Cumberland Caverns, hiking along the Historic Trail is a must. This trail winds through the stunning Tennessee wilderness and provides hikers with breathtaking views of the surrounding nature's beauty.

The Historic Trail is a seven-mile loop trail that is best tackled by experienced hikers. It features a variety of challenging terrain, including steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow passes. While the trail is tough, it is also incredibly rewarding, with stunning views of the surrounding forest and mountains.

One of the highlights of the Historic Trail is the Denny Cove Falls, which cascades down a rocky slope and into a crystal-clear pool. The falls are located about a mile into the hike and offer a refreshing stop for hikers. Visitors can take a dip in the cool water or relax on the rocks that surround the pool.

Another highlight of the trail is the overlooks, which offer stunning panoramic views of the countryside and the distant mountains. The trail also runs along the Stone Door, a natural rock formation that is over 10 feet tall and resembles a doorway.

If you plan to hike the Historic Trail, be sure to come prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and comfortable shoes. The trail can be challenging at times, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a memorable day trip and things to do near Cumberland Caverns, hiking along the Historic Trail is a great option. The trail offers breathtaking views, challenging terrain, and the chance to explore the stunning nature of Tennessee. Whether you're an experienced hiker or just looking for a unique adventure, the Historic Trail has something for everyone.


Zip line at Adventure Park at Cumberland Caverns

Source: Cumberland Caverns

If you're looking for a thrilling and exciting activity near Cumberland Caverns, the Adventure Park at Cumberland Caverns is just the place for you. One of the main attractions at the Adventure Park is their incredible zip line experience, which will take you on an unforgettable ride through the beautiful Tennessee countryside.

Located just a short drive from Cumberland Caverns, the Adventure Park at Cumberland Caverns offers an array of fun adventures, including their epic zip line. The zip line is not only a heart-pumping ride but also an opportunity to see the stunning natural beauty of the area. As you soar through the sky, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the rolling hills, lush forests, and picturesque streams of the surrounding landscape.

The zip line course at the Adventure Park at Cumberland Caverns features a series of four different zip lines that will take you across the park at speeds up to 25 miles per hour! As you traverse the lines, you'll soar over wooded hills and lush valleys before returning to the starting platform. Along the way, you can also challenge yourself by taking on rope bridges and other obstacles.

Designed for thrill-seekers of all ages, zip lining at the Adventure Park is great for families, groups, or solo adventurers. Plus, there's no previous experience necessary, so anyone can give it a try! Whether you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping or just enjoy the great outdoors, zip lining at the Adventure Park at Cumberland Caverns is a must-do activity.

In addition to the zip line, the Adventure Park at Cumberland Caverns offers a variety of other adventures, including cave tours and hiking. With so much to do, you can easily spend a full day or even a whole weekend exploring all that the park has to offer. So, if you're looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience near Cumberland Caverns, head to the Adventure Park and take a ride on the zip line!


Go horseback riding at Circle E Guest Ranch

Source: circleeguestranch.com

If you are looking for an adventure near the Cumberland Caverns, look no further than Circle E Guest Ranch. This working cattle ranch offers a variety of activities including horseback riding, ATV tours, and fishing.

One of the most popular activities is horseback riding. Circle E Guest Ranch has a stable of well-trained horses and experienced wranglers to guide you on your ride. They offer one-hour and two-hour trail rides that take you through scenic areas of the ranch. You will ride through woods, fields, and over hills. You might even spot some wildlife like deer or wild turkey!

If you are a more experienced rider or want to learn, Circle E also offers horsemanship lessons. You can work on your riding or learn how to groom and care for horses.

Circle E Guest Ranch also offers ATV tours. You can ride through the hills and fields, take in the scenery, and explore areas of the ranch that are not accessible by horseback. You can ride alone or with a guide depending on your experience level.

And if you are looking for a more relaxing activity, Circle E has several stocked fishing ponds. You can bring your own gear or rent it from the ranch. You can catch and release fish like bass, catfish, and trout.

Overall, Circle E Guest Ranch is a great option for those looking for adventure near the Cumberland Caverns. From horseback riding to ATV tours to fishing, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So saddle up and make your way to Circle E!


Take a scenic drive on the Great Falls Loop

Source: National Park Service

If you're planning a trip to the scenic Cumberland Caverns, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in the surrounding area. One option is to take a drive on the Great Falls Loop. This 30-mile journey is full of scenic views and exciting stops along the way.

The Great Falls Loop is a picturesque drive that takes you through the heart of Tennessee's rural landscapes. Along the way, you'll encounter historic landmarks, natural beauty, and local treasures. The drive begins in Sparta and loops around to Cookeville, giving you the opportunity to explore two charming towns along the way.

As you journey along the Great Falls Loop, be sure to stop at some of the many picturesque stops along the way. One of the must-visit sites is the Window Cliffs State Natural Area. This beautiful natural area features a 23-acre tract with a unique rock formation and a hiking trail that leads to breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

In addition to the natural beauty, there are many historic landmarks along the Great Falls Loop. One such landmark is the Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park. This park celebrates the life of Cordell Hull, who served as Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945.

For a tasty break from the drive, be sure to stop at some of the local treasures that are located along the Great Falls Loop. Tennessee is famous for its delicious barbecue, and there are plenty of barbecue restaurants along the route. If you're looking for something unique, you can also check out local craft shops and antique stores in Sparta and Cookeville.

Overall, taking a drive on the Great Falls Loop is the perfect way to explore the natural beauty, historic landmarks, and local treasures that surround Cumberland Caverns. Be sure to take your time and enjoy all that this scenic drive has to offer!


Visit the Bluegrass Underground concert venue

Source: www.thecaverns.com

Located in McMinnville, Tennessee, the Cumberland Caverns offer a multitude of activities to visitors and locals alike. One of the most popular things to do near Cumberland Caverns is to visit the Bluegrass Underground concert venue.

The Bluegrass Underground is a unique concert experience that takes place in a natural cave located 333 feet below ground. The cave, known as the Volcano Room, boasts a natural amphitheater with incredible acoustics, making it the perfect venue for live music performances.

Visitors can expect a one-of-a-kind experience at the Bluegrass Underground. The concert venue hosts a variety of musicians from different genres, ranging from bluegrass and Americana to rock and country. Some of the biggest names in the music industry have performed at the Bluegrass Underground, including Brandi Carlile, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Widespread Panic.

Apart from the amazing performances, visitors can also take a tour of the Cumberland Caverns, which is a part of the National Register of Historic Places. The cave tour provides an educational and fascinating experience for all ages, exploring the underground formations and ecosystems that have been evolving over thousands of years.

Additionally, visitors can also enjoy other outdoor activities like hiking and camping around the Cumberland Caverns grounds. There are also several other attractions nearby like the Rock Island State Park and the Falls Creek Falls State Park, which offer breathtaking views and outdoor adventures.

In conclusion, visiting the Bluegrass Underground concert venue is an experience unlike any other and is definitely one of the top things to do when visiting Cumberland Caverns. So, if you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, plan a trip to Cumberland Caverns and catch a concert at the Bluegrass Underground.


Go fishing at Center Hill Lake

Source: TN.gov

Cumberland Caverns is a fascinating natural wonder that draws many visitors from far and wide. It is located in McMinnville, Tennessee, and is home to the second-longest cave system in the state. While the cave is the main attraction, there are plenty of other things to do in the area. One activity that is popular among visitors is fishing at Center Hill Lake.

Center Hill Lake is a pristine lake that is situated just a few miles from Cumberland Caverns. It is a favorite spot amongst anglers who come to the area seeking a serene and relaxing fishing spot. The lake is nestled in the scenic Appalachian Mountains, which add to its charm. The lake is known for its clear waters and abundance of fish. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish, including bass, perch, catfish, and crappie.

One of the best places to fish in the lake is along the rocky shoreline. There are also several coves and inlets that are great spots to cast your line. Boat rentals and charters are available, making it easy to explore the lake and find the perfect fishing spot. The lake is suitable for both beginners and experienced anglers, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch a trophy fish.

Apart from fishing, visitors can also enjoy other activities at the lake, such as swimming, boating, and picnicking. The lake has several public parks and beaches that are perfect for family outings. There are also several hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

In conclusion, if you're looking for something to do near Cumberland Caverns, fishing at Center Hill Lake is a fantastic option. The lake is beautiful, and the fishing is excellent. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner, you're sure to have a great time at Center Hill Lake. Don't forget to pack your fishing gear when you visit Cumberland Caverns!


Tour the historic Granville town

Source: Road Trips

If you're visiting the Cumberland Caverns area and looking for something to do besides exploring the cave system, consider taking a trip to the charming historic town of Granville. Located just a short 30-minute drive from the Caverns, Granville has a rich history and plenty of sights and activities to keep you entertained.

The town of Granville was established in the late 19th century, and much of its original architecture has been preserved, giving visitors a glimpse into the past. One of the best ways to explore this history is by taking a tour of the town. You can take a self-guided tour, or if you prefer, there are guided tours available as well.

As you make your way through the town, one of the first sights you'll come across is the Sutton General Store. This store has been in continuous operation since 1934 and is a testament to the town's commitment to preserving its history. The store is filled with antiques and other vintage items, and you can spend hours browsing through the collections.

Another interesting spot to visit in Granville is the Pioneer Village. This village features several historic houses, including a log cabin from the early 1800s and a Victorian-era home. Visitors can wander through the village, imagining what life was like in a simpler time. There's also a blacksmith's shop on-site, where you can watch live demonstrations of traditional blacksmithing techniques.

If you're interested in art, Granville has plenty to offer. The town is home to several art galleries and studios, showcasing the works of local artists. You can check out the Granville Museum, which features rotating exhibits of art and artifacts from the town's early days. And if you're lucky, you might even catch a live musical performance by one of the many local musicians who call Granville home.

Finally, don't miss out on the town's many festivals and events throughout the year. Granville hosts a variety of events, ranging from the annual Christmas parade to the Spring Fling festival. These events offer a chance to experience the town's unique culture and hospitality.

In summary, taking a trip to Granville is a great way to complement your visit to the Cumberland Caverns. With its preserved architecture, art galleries, historic sites, and events, Granville offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience a slice of authentic Americana.


Go kayaking or canoeing on the Caney Fork River

Source: Sparta, TN

Cumberland Caverns is a popular tourist destination in Tennessee, known for its natural beauty and underground wonderland. However, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the area, including kayaking and canoeing on the Caney Fork River.

The Caney Fork River is a scenic waterway that flows through Middle Tennessee. It is a popular destination for paddlers, with plenty of opportunities to explore the river's natural beauty and wildlife. There are several outfitters in the area that offer kayak and canoe rentals, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a day on the water.

One of the best things about paddling on the Caney Fork River is that it is suitable for all skill levels. If you are a beginner, there are plenty of calm stretches of water where you can practice your skills. If you are more experienced, there are plenty of rapids and more challenging sections of the river to explore.

Along the way, you will encounter breathtaking scenery, including dense forests, rocky cliffs, and stunning waterfalls. You are also likely to see a variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, and deer. The Caney Fork River is one of the most biodiverse rivers in the area, making it an excellent destination for nature lovers.

Beyond the natural beauty, there are also several historic sites to explore along the Caney Fork River. The river was once used to transport goods and people throughout the area, and there are still remnants of old dams and bridges to see. You can also stop at several historic sites, including the home of a Revolutionary War hero and an early 20th-century hydroelectric plant.

In conclusion, if you are planning a trip to Cumberland Caverns, be sure to add kayaking or canoeing on the Caney Fork River to your itinerary. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddler, there is something for everyone to enjoy. With its scenic beauty and rich history, the Caney Fork River is one of the best places to explore in Middle Tennessee.


Visit Burgess Falls State Park

Source: TripAdvisor

If you're looking for things to do near Cumberland Caverns, a visit to Burgess Falls State Park should definitely be on your list. Just a 30-minute drive south from the cave system, Burgess Falls State Park is a hidden gem that offers a beautiful landscape and plenty of outdoor activities for all ages.

The main attraction of the park is, of course, the Burgess Falls. This breathtaking waterfall drops 136 feet into the gorge below, creating a stunning view that never gets old. The park has several overlooks that allow visitors to take in the falls from different angles. If you're up for a little hike, there is a 1.5-mile trail that takes you along the edge of the gorge and provides more spectacular views of the falls along the way.

Another popular feature of Burgess Falls State Park is the river that runs through it. The Falling Water River is clean and clear, making it a great place for fishing, swimming, and kayaking. There are several access points throughout the park where you can launch your boat or cast your line. If you're more of a land lover, the park has several picnic areas that are perfect for enjoying a meal with family and friends.

For those who want to explore more of the park, there are several hiking trails that range in difficulty. The River Trail is an easy 0.3-mile hike that takes you to the base of the falls. The Service Road Trail is a bit more challenging, covering 1.5 miles of steep terrain with views of the river and surrounding forest. For the more experienced hiker, the Ridge Top Trail is a 2-mile trek that offers stunning vistas of the park and the Cumberland Plateau beyond.

If you're visiting Burgess Falls State Park during the summer months, be sure to check out their summer concert series. These free concerts take place on Saturday evenings and feature a variety of musical acts in the park's amphitheater. There's no better way to enjoy the beauty of the park than with live music and good company.

In conclusion, Burgess Falls State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for things to do near Cumberland Caverns. With its stunning waterfalls, clear river, hiking trails, and live music events, there's something for everyone at this beautiful park. So pack a picnic, grab your hiking shoes, and head out to Burgess Falls State Park for a day of adventure and relaxation.


Enjoy a round of golf at RiverWatch Golf Club

Source: Upper Cumberland Business Journal

If you're looking for things to do near Cumberland Caverns, you might want to consider booking a tee time at RiverWatch Golf Club. This beautiful, championship-caliber golf course is located just a short drive away and offers a fun and challenging experience for golfers of all skill levels.

One of the things that sets RiverWatch apart from other golf courses in the area is its stunning setting. The course is situated along the banks of the Cumberland River, with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and valleys. As you make your way around the course, you'll encounter a variety of hazards and challenges, from water features and sand traps to narrow fairways and tricky greens.

But don't worry if you're new to the game - RiverWatch offers a range of amenities and services to help you make the most of your experience. The facility includes a driving range and practice greens, as well as a clubhouse with a pro shop, restaurant and bar, and locker rooms. And if you're looking to improve your game, you can sign up for lessons with one of RiverWatch's experienced instructors.

No matter your skill level or experience, a round of golf at RiverWatch is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Tennessee countryside and make the most of your trip to the Cumberland Caverns area. So why not book a tee time today and experience one of the best golf courses in the region?


Take a scenic train ride on the Tennessee Central Railway Museum

Source: Tennessee Central Railway Museum

If you are looking for things to do near Cumberland Caverns, taking a scenic train ride on the Tennessee Central Railway Museum is a great option! The train ride offers breathtaking views of the scenic landscape and provides an opportunity to experience historic locomotives and railway cars.

The Tennessee Central Railway Museum is located in Nashville, Tennessee, about 80 miles northeast of Cumberland Caverns. The museum offers various train rides throughout the year, including the Summer Excursion series and the Fall Foliage Excursion series.

During the summer, the museum offers a variety of train rides, ranging from day trips to overnight excursions. The day trips take passengers on a scenic round trip from Nashville to Cookeville, while the overnight excursions provide an opportunity to spend the night in a historic Pullman sleeper car.

In the fall, the museum offers the Fall Foliage Excursion series, which takes passengers on a scenic journey through the beautiful Tennessee countryside. The train stops at the quaint town of Watertown, where passengers can explore the town's local shops and restaurants.

In addition to scenic train rides, the museum also offers a variety of special events throughout the year, including the popular Santa Express train ride during the holiday season. On the Santa Express, passengers can enjoy Christmas carols, hot cocoa, and holiday cheer as they ride through the scenic countryside.

Overall, taking a scenic train ride on the Tennessee Central Railway Museum is a great way to experience the beauty and history of the region near Cumberland Caverns. So, if you are planning a visit to the area, be sure to check out this unique attraction and enjoy the ride!

Frequently asked questions

Visitors to Cumberland Caverns can participate in a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, kayaking, and camping at nearby state parks such as Fall Creek Falls State Park, Rock Island State Park, and Burgess Falls State Park.

Fans of American history can visit the nearby historic town of McMinnville, which is home to several historic landmarks such as the Falcon Rest Mansion and Civil War-era sites like the Black House and the Confederate Cemetery.

Families can enjoy a variety of fun activities near Cumberland Caverns, such as visiting the Oasis Pools Water Park, exploring the Tennessee Aquarium, or enjoying a picnic and playground at Harrison Bay State Park.

Visitors looking to experience the local culture can visit the Sewanee Artisans Trail, featuring local art galleries and shops with handcrafted items made by local artists, or attend a musical performance at the historic Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville.

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Edgar Singh

I recently visited Cumberland Caverns and had such an amazing time exploring the underground wonders! There are so many things to do near the caverns that added to the whole experience. One of my favorite activities was hiking the scenic trails surrounding the caverns. The views were absolutely breathtaking, and it was a great way to connect with nature. Additionally, there are some charming small towns nearby where you can indulge in delicious local cuisine and explore unique shops. I highly recommend a visit to Cumberland Caverns and taking advantage of all the wonderful activities nearby!

Cerys Bird

Visiting Cumberland Caverns was a highlight of my trip, and I discovered there are plenty of things to do near this incredible natural wonder. One of my favorite activities was zip-lining through the nearby forest. It was such a thrilling experience and offered a unique perspective of the beautiful surroundings. If you're a fan of live music, the Caverns offer regular concerts in their underground venue, which is an absolute must-see. I also enjoyed exploring the nearby hiking trails and taking in the stunning views. Cumberland Caverns truly is a destination that offers a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy!
I'm glad to hear that you had such a wonderful time exploring Cumberland Caverns! Zip-lining through the nearby forest sounds like an exhilarating experience, and I can imagine how incredible it must have been to see the beautiful surroundings from that unique perspective. I completely agree with you about the concerts in the underground venue - it's a must-see for any music lover. And of course, exploring the nearby hiking trails and enjoying the stunning views is always a great way to connect with nature. It sounds like Cumberland Caverns truly offers something for everyone, and I can see why it was a highlight of your trip!

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