Tour America’s Largest Underground Lake In Tennessee in a Glass-Bottom Boat
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 and historic cave system called Craighead Caverns. This cave system was once used but the Cherokee Indians. In 1905, something was discovered that changed everything. According to The Lost Sea's website,
A 13-year-old boy named Ben Sands wiggled 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 his light was swallowed up by the darkness long before reaching the far wall or the ceiling.
It was at that moment, that the largest underground lake was discovered. The lake was later named The Lost Sea. Just how big is this underground lake? Well, the only visible portion of the lake is 800 feet long by 220 feet wide. However, the true size of the lake has yet to be determined. To give you an idea about how massive the lake actually is, the website says:
Beneath the calm waters of the four-and-a-half acre lake divers have discovered an even larger series of rooms completely filled with water. More than 13 acres of water have been mapped so far and still no end to the lake has been found. One diver ventured into the water-filled rooms with a sonar device. Hugging the wall to assure his ability to find his way back, he took soundings in all directions and found nothing but more water.
Lost Sea Adventure Tours
By now, you might be thinking that you would love to see this massive underground lake yourself. Lucky for you, they offer daily tours all year long. The only exceptions are that they are closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Still, that's 363 days out of the year that you can visit America's largest underground lake, recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.
These tours to the Lost Sea involve a guided tour through the caverns with a 3/4 mile round-trip walk along the cavern pathways. Tour guides will tell you the history of the cavern and explain its rare formations as you make your way to the Lost Sea, 140 feet below the ground level.
Once you reach the lake, you will climb aboard a boat with a glass bottom so you can take a peek at what's below. You might even spot some large rainbow trout. While on the boat, look out for rainbow trout swimming below and magnificent crystal formations called anthodites overhead, known as cave flowers.
The temperature remains 58 degrees in the cavern, so if that's chilly to 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 previously mentioned, The Lost Sea Adventure is open year-round. Tickets are $24.95 for adults, children ages 4-12 are $14.95, and children 3 and under are free. You can learn more and book your tickets by clicking here.
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