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Road trip through Michigan, Kentucky & Tennessee help needed

Travel Forums North America Road trip through Michigan, Kentucky & Tennessee help needed

1. Posted by walkergirl (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here:)

Dh and I have booked some vacation time. We are leaving next Friday and driving through Michigan to Kentucky. We plan to camp at Mammoth Cave National Park for a few days and participate in this cave adventure we have always wanted to. It's called the Wild Cave Tour. http://www.nps.gov/maca/Tours.html#Wild

Duration: 6 to 6-1/2 hours
Caving Distance: 5-1/2 miles
Sells Out at: 14 visitors (reservations required)
Restroom Available? Yes, at Snowball Room
Emphasis on: Safe caving techniques; environmental concerns; cave exploration (past and present); team building
Landmarks Seen: Carmichael Entrance, Cleaveland Avenue, Split Rock, Snowball Room (food available), Boone Avenue, various areas off developed tour trails, Travertine Tour route
Elevation change: 300 feet
Physical Challenges: Free-climbing cave walls; lengthy crawls through areas as tight as 9 inches high; walking in a crouched position; hand and knee crawls over jagged rocks and dirt; crawling through wet areas; twisting into and out of tight crawlway openings

If you have read all that, yes I'm terrified!!! But I figure I've always wanted to do it and I know I'll have fun once I get over my initial terror LOL.

Anyhooo, my question is does anyone have any suggestions on other things we can do while we are there. We have the entire week off. I would like to go Horseback riding and possibly for a helicopter ride of the mountains in Tennessee but that's about it.

Oh and I would like to do some shopping:) I can't visit the US without shopping. Olive Garden, Bath & Body Works and Target here I come!!!

Thanks!

2. Posted by dv8girl (Budding Member 12 posts) 11y

The Cave Tour sounds great, and you'll have no trouble finding places to shop (probably even at the bottom of the cave!). Horesback riding will be easy to find as well; ask the locals for a good place or check a local Yellow Pages at last resort. If you have time to get a closer view of the Tennessee mountains, I'd recommend that instead of a noisy and no doubt expensive helicopter ride. Ideally, you could enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the Gatlinburg, Tennessee entrance and cruise around from there. There are plenty of cheap hotels in the Pigeon Forge area to choose from with prices advertised out front. It's only 5 minutes from Gatlinburg and a bit cheaper. I was just there in August and saw ads for rooms as low as $24.95. Since you obviously enjoy hiking, there are plenty of beautiful trails in the park, some leading to waterfalls or overviews of the mountains. Stop at the Visitor Center for specifics, and watch a free short movie about the area. Enjoy!

3. Posted by Pkngrin (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y

I just recently went on my honeymoon in the Mtns of Tenneesee and it was amazing. a little further off the beaten path from Pidgeon Forge/Gatlinburg, to the south/west is Townsend. A one-light town, and it's beautiful, great place to escape all the shops after a day in hectic Gatlinburg, and Cades Cove is nearby in the Nat'l park, lots of beatiful area to hike, waterfalls, caving, horseback rides, biking, river rapids, you name it. Highly recommend it.

Jim