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Lost Creek

Although the Lost Creek area is technically located just outside Scott's Gulf, it is connected hydrologically to the Virgin Falls area and so is worth describing here. Early settlers named this area after, what else, a large creek which disappears underground, and built the county's first mill here sometime prior to 1808. However, most people today associate the name Lost Creek with Lost Creek Cave, also known as White's Cave and Dodson Cave, and Lost Creek Falls.

Lost Creek Cave is located in a large, obvious sinkhole. At one end of the sinkhole a waterfall tumbles down, only to sink into the ground and disappear. Across from the waterfall is a large cave entrance into which surface streams and overflow from the waterfall run during rainy weather. The cave is primarily composed of one huge borehole, large enough for a pair or three of Greyhound buses to drive side by side. The main passage curves in a spiral until it intersects the waterfall sinking from the surface. This underground waterfall is probably one of the most fascinating features of the cave.

Lost Creek Cave is actually just one part of the large, multiple-cave system, known, not surprisingly, as the Lost Creek system. There are five caves in the system, which has a combined length of over 7 miles; however, the other caves in the system are not as hospitable as Lost Creek Cave.

In 1993, Walt Disney filmed portions of its movie, the Jungle Book, in the Lost Creek sinkhole. Disney's special effects team erected a 20-foot high styrofoam Hindu temple lion in the entrance of the cave and installed a sophisticated monorail system on one slope of the sinkhole. After the movie, the monorail was dismantled, but the lion was rescued by a Cookeville fraternity house to serve as its mascot.

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