Russell Cave National Monument
is an archaeological site that was discovered by amateur archaeologists
in 1953 and it is one of the most complete records of prehistoric
cultures in the Southeast.
This ballroom-size cavern is one
of the oldest sites of human habitation in North America and was likely
formed thousands of years ago when a portion of Russell Cave's entrance
collapsed, creating a shelter that, for more than 10,000 years, was home
to prehistoric peoples. Today, the cave offers clues to the daily lives
of early North American inhabitants from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D.
Cave National Monument offers visitors two trails: the Nature Trail, a
0.6-mile (.95 km) paved trail, and the Backcountry Trail, a 1.2-mile
(1.9-km) dirt trail. Both have opportunities to observe the oak and
hickory forest, birds, wildflowers, and Montague Mountain. Points along the trails feature plants utilized for food, tools, and other daily necessities. The adjacent cave system has several miles of passageways and caverns, including the Waterfall Passage.
Things to Know Before You Go
- This site is open daily except major winter holidays.
comfortable shoes, and bring a jacket for the cooler weather. Bring
good walking or hiking shoes if you plan to hike along the nature trail.
- There is only a drink machine is available at the park, so bring a snack or lunch if you are planning on a long visit.
- There are wheelchairs available for visitors upon request.
- Pets on a leash are welcome on the tour to the cave shelter and the hiking trail, but not inside the visitor center.
- Don't forget your camera.
Pets - Russell Cave National Monument -
Pets enjoy visiting parks with their families. Pets are welcome at
Russell Cave, and must be on a leash. Remember to bring water for your
pet, and thank you for cleaning up after them.
Be sure to share you pet travel stories in the comments or on Facebook.