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Russell Cave National Monument

Natural Area, National Park or Monument

ADA Accessibility Notes

The visitor center, museum area and video room are all wheelchair accessible. There are wheelchairs available for visitor use upon request. The boardwalk to the cave shelter is also wheelchair accessible.

Explore Russell Cave National Monument for a glimpse into the life of early North American inhabitants dating from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D. Russell Cave was named a National Monument in 1961 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

Russell Cave is a significant archaeological site that provides a record of thousands of years of human use. Native Americans from the Archaic period to the historic era occupied Russell Cave. In the lowest levels of excavations at the cave, which date to approximately 6,550 years ago, archaeologists have found stone projectile points used for hunting as well as the charcoal remains of firepits. They have also found several burials containing human remains that may date back more than 8,000 years. Russell Cave has produced both stone arrow points and pottery sherds from Woodland Period (approximately 3,000 to 1,000 years BCE). As archeologists dug down to the deepest artifacts more than 40 feet below the cave's present floor, they traced the emergence of pottery more than 2,000 years ago.

The museum features artifacts and reproductions found in Russell Cave, and shows the lifeways and tools of prehistoric people who used the cave shelter. Daily ranger-led interpretive programs are offered every day at 11 a.m. CST. Programs include guided cave shelter tours (tours are only led into the cave shelter) nature walks, lantern hikes and more.

How to Get There

Russell Cave National Monument is located at 3729 County Road 98 in Bridgeport, Alabama. It is situated in the northeast corner of Alabama, just south of the Tennessee state line.

From Huntsville or Scottsboro, Alabama:

Take US-Highway 72 east to County Road 75

Turn left onto County Road 75

Turn right onto County Road 98 for four miles

Turn left into the entrance of the park

From Nashville and Winchester, Tennessee:

Take I-24 east

Take the US-72 west exit, exit 152 toward S. Pittsburgh and Russell Cave National Monument

Turn slight right onto US-72 west/TN-27 west. Continue to follow US-72 west (crossing into Alabama).

Turn slight right onto County Road 75.

Turn right onto Dorans Cove Ridley Road, County Road 98

Turn left into the entrance of the park

From Chattanooga, Tennessee

Take I-24 west

Take US Highway 72 exit, exit 152 A toward S. Pittburg

Take US 72 west (Crossing into Alabama) to County Road 75

Turn right onto County Road 75

Continue on County Road 75

Turn right onto Dorans Cove Ridley Road, County Road 98

Turn left into the entrance of the park

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets on a leash are welcome on the tour to the cave shelter and the hiking trail, but not inside the visitor center.

Recreational Opportunities

The wildflower meadow is one of the most picturesque locations within the park. Many visitors are drawn to the vibrant perennials, such as black-eyed susans and purple cone flowers. The North Alabama Birding Trail makes a winding 1.2 mile circuit through the forest of Montague Mountain, which connects a separate 1.5 mile nature trail. In addition, there is a picnic area in front of the visitor center with several tables in shady locations.


Seasons Accessible

Russell Cave National Monument is open year round, seven days a week, with the exception of New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.




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