The Bristol Caverns are over 200,000,000 years old and were used as a secret way of travel for the Cherokee Indians (http://www.tenntrips.com). Being located in Bristol, Tennessee, the caverns are a part of the Appalachian Mountain Region. The Bristol Caverns are underground and considered a historical monument. During your visit to the caverns you can learn about history, while getting your exercise, at an affordable price.
The Bristol Caverns are open all year around, except for on holidays, and the time that you are able to visit is subject to change during different seasons. You can visit the Bristol Caverns from 9a.m.-5p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from 12:30p.m.-5p.m. on Sundays. It is suggested that you call before attempting to go to the Bristol Caverns because of the number of tourists. (http://www.bristolcaverns.com). The drive from the ETSU campus to the caverns takes about forty-two minutes. In order to get to the Bristol Caverns you can start on 11E, get off at the Bluff City exit, take it to 394, turn right onto 435, and you will then see the Bristol Caverns on the left. Upon arrival you will be expected to pay an admission fee of $9.00, which can change, according to age. The Bristol Caverns offers special rates and tours for groups interested in touring. One of these group opportunities, "Wild Tours" (http://www.bristolcaverns.com), gives groups the chance to explore parts of the cave normally not seen, provided a guide is present.
The entire tour requires a lot of walking, so wearing tennis shoes is recommended. Dress prepared for a cool environment because while inside the cave you will experience temperatures from 50-60 degrees. As you walk along the tour of the Bristol Caverns, a tour guide will inform you about the history of the cave: such as the original entrance place to the caverns used by the Cherokee Indians and how an early pioneer would store his fruit in the cave for extended freshness (tour guide). While the guide leads you through the cave of the caverns, you can view many formations and scenes. The formations are called stalagmites and stalagtites, which are created by the moisture and minerals in the cave hardening. One inch of these formations lengths can take from 150-300 years to form (tour guide). During the tour you will venture through different levels of the cave.