Hike To Ridgetop Tunnel

Ridgetop, Tenn. is my hometown. It’s where my parents still live and it’s where I grew up. I had Christmases there, birthday parties, milestones and many more memories. What I didn’t know is that it holds a pretty rich history and there’s some really cool exploring to do.

I explored Ridgetop outside of my parents house and tried to get to know it from an outsider’s perspective for a story this week. My favorite part was exploring the .9 mile long underground train tunnel. My guide to the tunnel, Buddy Frank, was a police officer in Ridgetop for 20 years and grew up in the area. Here’s a little bit of the history behind the tunnel..

During the Civil War, John Morgan was a cavalry leader around the area. He defended Ridgetop from a federal forces invasion-in turn keeping them from harming their railroad lines. Back then the tunnel wasn’t around, but the tracks are the same ones that were there before.

In the early 1900s when construction began on the tunnel, the tracks went from being on railroad bridges to going underground. The hike to get to the tunnel takes about 35 minutes.

A photo gallery is below, and please click here to see my published article in The Tennessean.

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