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Featured Destination Story

Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. People enjoy viewing the unique geology and diverse wildlife, whether driving or hiking. Sauta Cave itself is gated and not open to the public due to the potential for disturbance of federally endangered gray and Indiana bats.

In the past, the cave served a variety of uses. Cherokee natives mined the soil to make saltpeter for gunpowder. Saltpeter mining continued on occasion across the War of 1812, and the American Civil War. Sauta Cave was one of the largest saltpeter mines operated during the Civil War. Remains of the mining exist in the form of a wooden railroad and large iron kettles; the mining tunnels are now referred to as "The Catacombs".

Read more about Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge

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