Bristol VA/TN has two very nice caves the tourists can visit. We will look briefly at both.
Located near Blountville, Tennessee they describe themselves:
For many years the cavern lay in silence broken only by the sound of the water, the animals that called it home and the occasional human who made their way into it. It was home to many wild animals, used by local people as a home, celebrated by the Native Americans as a place to hold special meetings, a weekend hangout for local kids, and had many other varied uses down through the years. In 1991 it was opened to the public as a show cave for the first time in its long and varied history.
Since that time the caverns has had many visitors through its magnificent chambers. It is home to over 10,000 bats, a sanctuary for the endangered gray bats as well as home to eastern pippestrelles, large and small Virginia browns, Indianas, reds and hoary bats. It is a testament to the beauty and glory that God has created not only in the world above but also in the world underneath that many have forgotten exists.
Regular Tours are approximately 1 mile in length and last 60-75 minutes. There are about 50 steps and is partially wheelchair accessible. Advanced explorer tours and wild tours available. I visited this cave several years ago and recommend it.
Cost of Admission:
Children ages 4-11: $6.00
Children under age 4: FREE
Senior Citizens (60+): $7.50
For updated information visit their website at www.appacaverns.com.
Located just outside Bristol, Tennessee they describe themselves:
Paved, well lighted walkways wind through the vaulted chambers and along the banks of the ancient Underground River that carved these remarkable caverns from the hard core of the earth 200 to 400 million years ago. In the frontier days, Indians used the Underground River as an attack and escape route in their raids on settlers. Stealing into the area by way of the Underground River and the caverns, they swooped down on unsuspecting families, then disappeared as if swallowed up by the earth.
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.
Stalactites and stalagmites, some larger than tree trunks and others smaller than straws, fascinate and give play to the imagination. Where some of these formation have grown together, massive columns have been formed reaching from the floor to the ceiling of the lofty rooms. With every view, nature's artistry is at its best and can be seen in the remarkable tumbling cascades and billowing draperies - all of solid stone.
I helped build part of the steps and paths back in the 1980s. Try carrying a bag of concrete several hundred yards in a temperature of 52 degrees and 100% humidity. They have a nice stream system. I also highly recommend them. I don't know their present rates, but for more information visit their website is at www.bristolcaverns.com.
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