Have you ever wanted to journey deep into the earth? Or gaze into the actual Devil’s Hole yourself? Then make a trip to The Lost Sea Adventure in Sweetwater, Tennessee, an extensive cave that you can take a guided tour through. Just be warned, this tour isn’t for the faint of heart, or the out of shape. Why you ask? Well, you begin by going down this big yellow tube:
It might look pretty intimidating going down, but it’s even more so coming back up. So, make sure you wear comfortable footwear. You descend into the earth via a metal yellow tube with your fellow group members and you might be thinking, this is impressive and all, but where’s the cave? Well, once you step out of said tube, the room opens up into the sprawling cave beyond. Strategically placed lights illuminate the natural wonders, stalactites, stalagmites, great rocky cracks and holes, and waterfalls and natural pools, a moonshine still. Well, that last one isn’t natural. But the caves were used as a hidden bar during prohibition and some of the famous Tennessee moonshine was made deep in it’s bowels.
Along the tour you are taken into a considerably sized room where you can experience complete darkness, and you might not think it, but it is a little unsettling, especially how we’re all so used to our world filled with light all around us. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture a picture of this for obvious reasons.
And although it may seem a little strange, if you aren’t too fond of heights you might not have such a good time since there are multiple scaffolding walkways and bridges throughout the cave.
There’s so many interesting nooks and crannies to discover.
But the truly most amazing feature of these caves lies at the end of the tour, which is optional given that it’s down even further and therefore quite the hike, and that is the lake. A lake in a cave, you ask? It seems strange when you finally lay eyes on it, not sure what to expect, some sort of dinky pond to marvel at, but my expectations were totally blown away when I entered the huge room with an expansive lake, so expansive they give boat tours out into it. The Lost Sea Adventure surely lives up to it’s name.
But not only is there a lake down there, but there are fish as well which you can feed if you want.
Big fish, rainbow trout if I remember correctly, put in there as an experiment to see if they would find their way out, but it looked like they hadn’t quite done that…
At some point along the journey you get the chance to gaze into the Devil’s Hole, the very thing that inspired the name of this blog.
The worst part, however, is the trek back above ground. Not only do you have to climb back up from the lake far below, but you then have to crawl, I mean walk, I definitely didn’t crawl… up the long yellow tube to see the daylight once again. Go grab a drink and a rest because after that adventure you totally deserve it.
The Lost Sea Adventure is definitely worth a side trip to go see, just make sure you come prepared for a hike that might be a little taxing for some.
Please forgive the shoddy quality of the photos. I only brought along my phone on the trip, unfortunately.