Information on:

Cherokee Caverns

Cherokee Caverns
8524 Oak Ridge Highway

The caverns began forming about 300 million years ago.  Shells and skeletons of ancient marine life mixed with sand, clay, and other material to form the Copper Ridge Dolomite rock.

This occurred in an inland sea, which covered the area at that time. Ancient earthquakes created cracks in the Dolomite rock, as the inland sea gradually receded the water enlarged the cracks to form the caverns. Ground water, acquiring a small amount of carbonic acid from the air and vegetation on the surface, dissolves the Dolomite rock as it works its way into the caverns. As this water drips and flows within the cavity of the cave it leaves a very small amount of dissolved rock on the cavern ceiling, walls and floor, gradually creating the cave formations known as speleothems. Soda straws, stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstone, are only a few of the beautiful speleothems found in the caverns.

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