You can take an underground adventure in Tennessee to visit America’s largest underground lake, The Lost Sea.
Located in Sweetwater, Tennessee is an extensive historic cave system called Craighead Caverns. This cave system was once used by the Cherokee Indians. In 1905, something was discovered that changed everything. From The Lost Sea’s website,
A 13-year-old boy named Ben Sands squeezed through the tiny muddy opening 300 feet underground and found himself in a huge room half-filled with water. The room was so large that its light was engulfed in darkness long before it reached the back wall or the ceiling.
It was then that the largest underground lake was discovered. The lake was later named The Lost Sea. How big is this underground lake? Well, the only visible part of the lake is 800 feet long by 220 feet wide. However, the actual size of the lake has yet to be determined. To give you an idea of the actual mass of the lake, the website says:
Beneath the calm waters of the four and a half acre lake divers discovered an even larger series of rooms completely filled with water. Over 13 acres of water have been mapped so far and no end to the lake has yet been found. A diver ventured into the water-filled rooms with a sonar device. Skirting the wall to make sure he could find his way back, he sounded in all directions and found nothing but water.
Lost Sea Adventure Tours
By now you might be thinking that you would like to see this huge underground lake for yourself. Luckily for you, they offer daily tours year-round. The only exceptions are that they are closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. However, it is 363 days a year that you can visit the largest underground lake in America, recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.
These Lost Sea tours involve a guided tour through the caverns with a 3/4 mile round trip walk along the cavern trails. Tour guides will tell you about the cavern’s history and explain its rare formations as you journey into the Lost Sea, 140 feet below ground level.
Once you get to the lake, you’ll board a glass-bottom boat so you can take a peek at what’s below. You may even spot large rainbow trout. While on the boat, watch the rainbow trout swimming below and the beautiful crystal formations called anthodites above your head, known as cave flowers.
The temperature remains at 58 degrees in the cavern, so if it’s chilly for you, be sure to bring a jacket, no matter how hot it is above ground. The tour itself takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
As mentioned earlier, The Lost Sea Adventure is open year-round. Tickets are $24.95 for adults, children 4-12 are $14.95, and children 3 and under are free. You can find out more and book your tickets by click here.