Southport Saltpeter Cave is One of Tennessee's Largest

August 24, 2011 at 2:49 am EST

Spelunkers‚ rejoice.

The Southport Saltpeter Cave in Culleoka, near Columbia, is one of the largest caves in all of Middle Tennessee‚ and it’s been an adventure destination for decades. During the Civil War‚ it was mined for nitrate – used to make gunpowder – and it also housed Confederate troops in hiding.

The cave features unusual formations and large caverns that date back an estimated 300‚000 years. Hundreds of physically fit explorers hike through Southport’s difficult terrain each year. It’s open only by appointment for guided and unguided tours.

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