Visit North Alabama's Russell Cave National Monument
The Russell Cave National Monument is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System & well worth your visit.
Russell Cave is a large, natural cave located in the TAG (Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia) region of northeast Alabama and it shows signs of being inhabited by pre-historic humans for at least 9,000 years. There is a stream that runs out of the caves entrance and a large shelter next to the mouth of the cave.
Although the inside of the cave is not accessible to the public, the entrance is definitely something to behold. In addition to this massive cave, sinkholes, unique rock formations and a myriad of plants species and wildlife, can be found on the 310 acre property. This park is also listed on the Alabama Birding trail-as a great place to bird watch in Alabama.
Plan your visit:
Where? Jackson County, Alabama 3729 County road 98 Bridgeport, Al
How far is the walk? There is a boardwalk leading from the visitor center (parking lot) to the mouth of the cave. It’s short, less than ¼ mile walk to the cave. When you feel a cold breeze that feels like someone turned on the air conditioning, you’re very close.
Can I go inside the cave? Unfortunately, this cave is closed to the public. The boardwalk allows a perfect view of the mouth of the cave and the boardwalk extends all the way up to the shelter.
Can I bring my dog? Yes, on a leash.
RV parking? Yes
What else is there to do here? There’s also a 1.2 mile paved, but slightly strenuous nature trail that takes you further into the park. There’s a really cool sinkhole you don’t want to miss; it’s to the right of the boardwalk, on your way to the cave.
I didn’t bring my lunch, where can I eat that’s close? If you are not a brown bagger, and consider yourself a small town food connoisseur, you are my kinda people. I love a small town, hole-in-the-wall burger joint. Pikeville Store and Grill 5182 Co Rd 21 Scottsboro, Al 35768 has a burger that will change your life! Their hours are limited 10am-2:30pm Tuesday-Saturday, but if you time your visit accordingly, you won’t be disappointed.
Cool facts you may find interesting:
Mary Fowler, the park ranger who entertained my 128 questions, told me the cave extends 7 miles into the mountain, but most artifacts were found in the shelter portion next to the mouth of the cave.
In the 1950’s over 2 tons (←-not a typo) of artifacts were excavated from the cave/shelter.
The entire monument covers 310 acres, yet the next largest known opening, at the opposite end of the cave, is located on private property. This alternate entrance is gated and locked and inaccessible to the public. Researches and Park Rangers have to get permission from the land owner in order to exit the cave on the other side.
This cave is a home to 8 different species of bats who do a remarkable job of eating around 4,000 mosquitos each in one night