Rattling Cave Preserve

Rattling Cave Preserve Tennessee

Photo courtesy of Bob Biddix

SCCi, in cooperation with the Appalachian Grotto secured access to Rattling Cave with a ten year lease.

Rattling Cave was one of the earliest caves explored in the east Tennessee region by organized cavers. In 1949, William M. Morrison and eight others rigged ropes, ladders and pulleys for the 130-foot descent into the cave.  The cave has a number of attractive formation areas and contains an abundance of cave dwelling fauna including a sizable population of federally-listed endangered gray bats.  Some 18,000 individuals have been observed hibernating in the winter months. The cave was surveyed to a length of more than 2,000 feet by the Smoky Mountain Grotto in the late 1960’s, and extended by more than 500 feet by members of the Appalachian Grotto in the late 1990’s.

This is one of the deepest and most scenic pits in East Tennessee.  Rattling Cave is located at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, where very few caves exist in the predominately metamorphic strata.  The impressive 130-foot entrance pit leads to several levels of cave passages and nice formation areas.

Access procedures for the cave still require checking in with the water utility, owners of the cave.  Please follow the access procedures carefully.  Rattling Cave will continue to be managed to allow access in the summer months but will remain closed to visitation from September 15th to April 30th to protect the hibernating bats.

To request a permit to visit the cave, you’ll need to review and agree to the terms outlined in the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy.

Preserve Information:

Acreage: Leased in Cocke County, Tennessee
Preserve Management Team: Curtis Ellison (rattling@scci.org)
To request a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org