National Parks / Natural World

Russell Cave National Monument Bridgeport

Where is it at?

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Russell Cave National Monument
3729 County Road 98
Bridgeport
AL
35740
Tel: 256 495 2672

Where are we going today?

Did you know that for more than 10,000 years, there were prehistoric peoples living in a cave in Alabama? Yep! The Russell Cave National Monument is a fascinating archaeological site with one of the most complete records that details certain prehistoric cultures in the Southeast USA!

It all started when a portion no of the cave's entrance actually collapsed thousands of years ago, which created a shelter. Then, for over 10,000 years these people lived in it, and called it home!

Quite different to the homes we live in today!

Clues have been found that date these North American inhabitants from 6500 B.C. to 1650 A.D. Now THAT is a long time ago!

During your visit to the Russell Cave National Monument, there are a host of activities - both indoor and outdoor - that the family can enjoy. 

First, let's start with the cave itself! Ranger-led programs are offered daily, and gives you an impressive view of this national monument from the inside!

Outdoors, the family can explore the wildflower meadow - certainly one of the prettiest places in the park! The Alabama Birding Trail is a great 1.2 mile circuit that takes you through the forest of Montague Mountain. Try and spot one of the 115 species of birds that live in the area, or that cute red fox that might be forging in the brush!

History comes to live with the historic tools and weapons demonstrations, where kids can learn the techniques of pump and bow drills, and even the skills of corn and nut grinding!

Then of course the indoor activities! The museum is FREE to enter, and features artifacts actually found in the cave itself! It's a great way for kids to learn what life would have been like inside the cave.

History, culture, and nature all wrapped into one at this Alabama National Monument!

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFree!
  • ChildrenFree!
LAST UPDATED 2016

When can we go?

8am - 4:30pm daily

Year round, closed Jan 1, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Teachers corner

School groups of up to 50 students are able to visit FREE of charge! An amazing historical day out for them!.

Any Top Tips?

Ask for the Junior Ranger Program for the kids when you arrive. A fun way for them to learn during their visit. .

Need a little extra help?

The museum and visitor center are wheelchair accessible, and there are walkways into the cave. They have wheelchairs available upon request.

Can I get one of those?

The Gift Shop and book shop has great historic items, as well as educational! .

More information

The videos are free to watch, and vary from 8 minutes to an hour. Just ask for assistance if you need it!.

What people are saying?

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    Knowledgeable staff, and passionate about where they are. Didn't have time to make the trails, but I did see the rest. It's a good motorcycle ride from Chattanooga, great place to be the excuse destination if you're itching for a ride. I suggest going through new hope as well, beautiful amazing ride.

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    I enjoyed the visit to the cave, museum, and especially the steep hiking trails. Off the beaten path but worth the visit. Only access via paved roads from the south. Afterwards tried to drive north to hook up with roads in Tennessee but ran out of blacktop and turned around after encountering only gravel roads.

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    I am a travel writer for National Park Planner and I visited Russell Cave National Monument in February, 2014. Russell Cave is located in the northeast corner of Alabama, not far from the Tennessee/Alabama state line near the town of Bridgeport. Created in 1961, the monument preserves a cave shelter that was inhabited off and on for nearly 9000 years. Artifacts dating all the way back to the Paleo-Hunter period of the southeastern United States have been found in the cave.

    The park includes a Visitor Center with a small museum. A picnic area is...Read More

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    Went their many times its always apeaceful place to see and enjoy the way things used to be

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    At Russell Cave, there are two trails up the mountain. It's breath taking beautiful in any season. The only cavern in North America where the stream runs into the cave and don't out. A jewel hidden in Northeast Alabama.

Submit a review

by Steve Markos

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I am a travel writer for National Park Planner and I visited Russell Cave National Monument in February, 2014. Russell Cave is located in the northeast corner of Alabama, not far from the Tennessee/Alabama state line near the town of Bridgeport. Created in 1961, the monument preserves a cave shelter that was inhabited off and on for nearly 9000 years. Artifacts dating all the way back to the Paleo-Hunter period of the southeastern United States have been found in the cave.

The park includes a Visitor Center with a small museum. A picnic area is located near the Visitor Center. Guests are welcome to visit the cave shelter on their own or on a Ranger guided tour. Currently tours are offered daily at 11 AM, but times can change so be sure the check the park’s Guided Tours web page for the latest schedule. Tours lasts about 30 minutes. In addition to the cave tour, there are two trails in the park, though one is just a shorter version of the other. As one of the less involving parks in the National Park system, visitors can be in and out of Russell Cave National Monument in one to three hours.

For complete information on the park, please visit National Park Planner (npplan).

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