Hike Into History | “Native Americans in the South Cumberlands”
Trailhead: Buggytop (Carter State Natural Area, Highway 56) Sherwood, TN [map]
"Native Americans in the South Cumberlands" takes you to the mouth of Buggytop Cave in South Cumberland State Park, one of the largest natural cave openings in Tennessee. Along the way, you'll come to "The Spur," with an impressive view of Buggytop Cove, and pass a giant sinkhole. Buggytop Cave is actually part of an extensive cave network in this area, and on this hike you'll visit a second cave entrance, Peter Cave, which is known to have been frequented by Native American hunter-gatherers for many centuries. Please remember that the interior of the cave is off-limits due to the potential for introducing White-Nosed Bat Syndrome, an affliction fatal to many bats, into the cave's bat population.
Leaving the Lost Cove West trailhead, here are some of the trail highlights:
» 0.2 miles | Top of "The Spur", looking into Buggytop Cove
» 0.5 miles | Giant sinkhole
» 2.0 miles | Overlook above the Buggytop Cave entrance
» 2.2 miles | Second entrance to the Lost Cove cave system: Peter Cave, known to have been inhabited by early Native Americans (please do not enter cave -- will endanger bat population residing within!)
From the Peter Cave entrance, retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
Total trail distance: about 4.8 miles | moderately to very strenuous
The mouth of Buggytop Cave is one of the largest natural cave openings in the State of Tennessee.