Raccoon Mountain Caverns
Raccoon Mountain Caverns was opened in 1929 by Leo Lambert, a local caver. The property was owned by the Grand Hotel and used as a farm for their restaurant. On hot afternoons, it was said that the farmers would relax in front of several cracks in the rock at the base of the mountain and enjoy the cool air that was blowing out. In 1929, Leo Lambert was invited to explore the source of the air. As an experienced cave explorer, Lambert realized that in order for air to blow out of a crack in limestone rock, there must be a large cave beyond the crack to supply such a volume of air. Lambert enlarged the cracks and was rewarded by discovering several hundred feet of well-decorated cave passage in a cave that was close to U.S. Highway 41. He developed a series of trails, installed electric lights, and opened the cave to the public as "Tennessee Caverns" on June 28, 1931.
Today, Raccoon Mountain Caverns is a major tourist attraction and is one of two caves in the Chattanooga/Hamilton County area that is open to the public. Raccoon Mountain Caverns offers Wild Cave tours, of the undeveloped, unlighted portions of the cave. These tours are very popular with the Boy Scouts of America and other groups.
- Raccoon Mountain Caverns - official site
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