Whetstone Mountain is an unusual place. It’s not a ski resort, or even a mountain range. Instead, this little-known area in East Tennessee is one of the most unique places you’ll ever visit. Whetstone Mountain is home to the highest waterfall in Tennessee, as well as over 50 caves and sinkholes that have been carved out by time and nature over millions of years. It’s also the only place in the state of Tennessee where you can see three different geological formations all within two miles of each other. Here are several great reasons you should plan a day trip to Whetstone Mountain:
It’s home to the highest waterfall in Tennessee
If you’re looking for the highest waterfall in Tennessee, you’ll find it right here at Whetstone Mountain. At 606 feet, the Great Sinks and High Sinks waterfalls in Whetstone Mountain State Park are the tallest waterfalls in the state of Tennessee. Since there aren’t many mountains in Tennessee with more than one waterfall over 500 feet, these are the only two to make our list. Whetstone Mountain is also home to the state’s second-tallest waterfall, the South Prong Waterfall which is almost as tall at 598 feet. Like the Great Sinks, the South Prong waterfall is located only a short distance from the road. While both of these waterfalls are beautiful, the Whetstone Mountain waterfall is the more impressive of the two, as the two falls are separated by only a few feet. The South Prong waterfall is located alongside a creekbed, while the Whetstone Mountain waterfall is located at the base of a rock cliff. Both waterfalls are worth visiting, but the Whetstone Mountain waterfall is the perfect place to find your sense of awe. Great read
You can tour the largest cave system in the state
From the Great Sinks to caves like the Hall of the Giants, Whetstone Mountain is home to some of the largest caves in Tennessee. The Hall of the Giants is the state’s largest cave, with an entrance over 120 feet tall and almost 600 feet in length. The Hall of the Giants is a gorgeous cave with a bunch of interesting formations. The Great Sinks is the largest waterfall in the state, and is also home to the state’s longest cave — the Great Sinks. The Great Sinks is a gorgeous, scenic cave with a great tour. These are only two of several caves and sinkholes in Whetstone Mountain, but they are the only ones with such a large cave system. Other spots you can visit in this area include the Blue Hole, the Sugar Cave, and the High Sinks.
Visit Whetstone Mountain Cave Preserve for over 50 sinkholes and caves
If you’ve ever wondered where so many sinkholes and caves can come from, Whetstone Mountain is the place to go. The Whetstone Mountain Cave Preserve is home to over 50 caves and sinkholes, including the state’s biggest cave, the Great Sinks. The Whetstone Mountain Cave Preserve also has a short nature trail where you can learn about the area’s geological history and see the local flora and fauna. The Nature Trail is located at the visitor center in Whetstone Mountain State Park. The Nature Trail also has a short interpretive panel that explains about the caves and sinkholes in the area. One of the more interesting facts you’ll learn is that almost all of the caves and sinkholes in the Whetstone Mountain area are the result of fault lines. If you have time to visit more than one cave and sinkhole in the Whetstone Mountain area, you’ll be able to see a wide variety of geological formations. The High Sinks, the Blue Hole, and the Great Sinks are the three most popular destinations in this area. Learn more
Three different geological formations exist within two miles of each other
Like most of the surrounding mountains in Tennessee, Whetstone Mountain is composed of sedimentary rock that was formed millions of years ago by the slow movement of water, mud, and sediment. The layers of rock in this area are part of the Cumberland Plateau region, which is one of the oldest regions of the Appalachian Mountains. This region is so old that it’s > nearly impossible to find any evidence of the area’s geological age. Even though the area is old, the rock in Whetstone Mountain is still considered to be very strong. The Whetstone Mountain area is also full of layers of different kinds of rocks. In fact, this area is home to the three most common geological formations in the state — the Great Sinks, the Blue Hole, and the Great Cove. Each of these geological formations is unique, and you’ll notice a variety of features between each formation. The Great Sinks is full of water-carved rock formations and is surrounded by beautiful cliffs with great views of the surrounding area. The Blue Hole is completely filled with blue-colored water-carved rock, and is filled with beautiful blue algae. The Great Cove is home to the state’s largest cave and has beautiful cliffs with a small waterfall in the center.
The Bottom Line
Whetstone Mountain is a truly unique spot in Tennessee, and one you won’t want to miss if you’re visiting the state. The Whetstone Mountain area is home to almost 50 caves and sinkholes, and three different geological formations. The Great Sinks, Great Cove, and Blue Hole are all worth visiting in this area. With so many geological formations and geological formations, you’ll be sure to find one you love.