Ready to explore something new? Consider a trip to Russell Cave National Monument. It's an interesting place to spend your day.
Declared a national monument on May 11th, 1961, Russell Cave National Monument is near to Bridgeport, AL, just outside the Tennessee state border. Russell Cave is a site of great archaeological importance and has a well-preserved record of its prehistoric history. It is believed that thousands of years ago, one of the entrances to the cave experienced a collapse which rendered the area a natural shelter where prehistoric people safely made their homes.
It is believed that Russell Cave has been a dwelling place for humans for 10,000 years, most of which occurred during the Archaic stage. Paleontologists now assert that the property traces its roots to somewhere between the Paleo and Archaic time periods.
To learn more about the area's prehistoric culture and significance, plan a trip to Russell Cave National Monument. It's a fascinating spot for a holiday excursion.
Travel to Russell Cave National Monument from Scottsboro, AL is relatively short at only 30 miles. To reach the monument, begin by taking US-Highway 72 E to County Road 75. Make a right hand turn onto County Road 98, continuing until you see a sign indicating a left hand turn into the park. This route travels along two lane highways kept in excellent condition. Traffic moves moderately. Road construction occurs only occasionally.
The journey from Nashville, TN to Russell Cave National Monument is significantly longer at 118 miles. Begin by travelling on I-24 East, taking the exit for US-72 W. Make a slight right onto County Road 75, continuing until you reach Dorans Cove Ridley Road/County Road 98. Turn right here. On the left hand side, you will see the entrance to the monument grounds. Along this route, you will encounter roads of both two and four lanes. All roads are kept in good condition, and traffic moves well. Road construction can be seen from time to time.
Parking is available via a lot at the entrance to Russell Cave National Monument.
There is no public transportation available to this park.
Bridgeport, AL, is home to an RV park that offers RV camping year round by reservation. Both 30 and 50 amp power hookups are available. The property is centrally located and easy to find.
Generator use is allowed, and leashed dogs are permitted on the grounds.
Tent camping is prohibited, and there are no on-site amenities.
Russell Cave National Monument is home to a stunning boardwalk trail that leads to the cave shelter itself. The views glimpsed from the path are extraordinary and include snapshots of the two distinct entrances to the cave.
As you walk along, you will relax to the soothing sounds of the rushing brook waters that travel into the mouth of the cave. Wander inside and dream of what it might have been like to be a cave dweller on the grounds 10,000 years ago.
Be sure to wear good walking shoes and to bring lots of drinking water with you to keep your hydration levels up.
Russell Cave Monument offers lots of places for families to enjoy reconnecting with nature. You can explore plant and animal life near the cave entrance or along the hiking trail. The park is extremely peaceful by nature and has an abundance of grass fields and lush forest.
Russell Cave bears the distinction of being on the North Alabama Birding Trail, making it the ideal spot to see some rare avian species. Bring your binoculars, your camera, and a naturalist's guide. To learn more about what species you might discover in the park, you can pick up a list of identified birds at the entrance to Russell Cave National Monument.
Russell Cave National Monument offers some of the state's best hiking opportunities. You can set out in search of adventure on the one and a half mile hiking trail located outside the boardwalk. This path is lined with asphalt and forms a loop that meanders through an abundance of plant and animal life. Do be forewarned that this is not a trail for novices as there are several inclines that are very steep.
Be on the lookout for poison ivy and snakes. You'll need good walking shoes and lots of water with you for hiking here.
If the weather is uncooperative and you need to consider an indoor activity, why not visit Russell Cave National Monument's museum and gift shop? The museum is available to the public at no cost and displays artifacts and reproduced items from the on-site cave to help visitors understand what life was like as a prehistoric cave dweller.
Within the Gilbert H. Grosvenor Visitor Center is a gift shop which offers all kinds of different souvenirs for purchase including books, replica spearpoints, and bow drills.
For families with children, why not consider participating in the Junior Ranger program? Upon your arrival, you can request a Junior Ranger booklet from the front desk of the visitor's center to get you started. As you peruse the grounds, the booklet will provide you with thought-provoking questions you can seek the answers to to enrich your experience at Russell Cave National Monument. If you complete your entire booklet, you will receive a Russell Cave Junior Ranger Badge and certificate.
Interested in learning more about life at Russell Cave in prehistoric times? The visitor's center offers many different videos you can select that detail the era, culture, and lifestyle of the early cave dweller. The videos are available at no cost to the public and range from eight minutes in length to up to one hour.
Rangers are on-site to assist with video selection and to answer any questions you may have.