Every April, during the presidentially proclaimed National Park Week, we join Alabama’s First National Monument to celebrate one of American’s National Historical Treasures.
Russell Cave National Monument, located in Bridgeport Alabama, is where human stories have been unearthed through the discovery of remarkable art, technology, and debris that represent over 10,000 years of human us in a single place.
The archeological record reveals evidence of early American innovations, lifestyles, and social dynamics. The creation and migration stories preserved here reveal how they came to live and form their cultural identity.
The initial excavation took place in the 50’s, then in the 60’s the National Park Service took over the excavation process making Russell Cave the very first National Monument in the state of Alabama until President Obama named two more – Birmingham Civil Rights and Freedom Riders.
Through the years, minor changes have been made to protect the National Treasure. No work was done, until a 2016 study to address erosion issues which resulted in a modified boardwalk to access and view the cave.
In 2008 white-nose syndrome was discovered. Perilous to a bat’s hibernation cycle, humans are kept from entering the cave in order to protect the now endangered species.
Today, Russell Cave National Monument helps bring to light the many cultural developments of a phenomenal human journey at their handicap accessible facility in Northeast AL.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Russell Cave offers a timeless education experience with a paved 1.2M hiking trail, educational programming, and a newly launched Mobile Tour, now found on the National Parks Service App.
For pre-planning purposes, there is no cell service on the property so it’s suggested to download the app and the mobile tour directly to your smart device before arriving. If that is not possible, there is an option to borrow facility tablets to use on the property.
Amanda Dunn, from @ADVENTURINGLIGHT visited Russell Cave and documented all the details that most visitors want to know – in a guest blog feature.
Amanda mostly adventures in Alabama and surrounding states while seeking to inspire others to get outside and enjoy God’s creation. “It doesn’t take any special talent or gift and you don’t have to be physically active to enjoy most of the places we go. Some of the best memories we’ve made as a family involve chasing waterfalls, hiking through woods, getting lost in the woods or the journey to these incredible places.”
Check out her BLOG to follow along on more of her adventures.
Safety & Accessibility
Visitors are able to view the cave only from the boardwalk. For safety reasons, the front of the cave shelter is on the accessible part of the cave system. Pets are welcome on the boardwalk and trails, but not inside the visitor’s center. Pets must be controlled and kept on a leash and clean up all pet waste.
Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome on the boardwalk as Russell Cave Park Rangers work to make their facilities, service,s and programs accessible for all.
NATIONAL PARK WEEK
To kick off National Park Week, the National Park Service invites everyone to participate in a Twitter chat on April 16 at 1 pm ET. Join the conversation about National Park Week, ways to recreate responsibly, connected conservation, the new NPS app, and more!
All are welcome to join this chat hosted by @NatlParkService