Russell Cave National Monument, Bridgeport

#31 of 61 in Nature in Alabama
National Park · Nature / Park
Russell Cave National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in northeastern Alabama, United States, close to the town of Bridgeport. The monument was established on May 11, 1961, when 310 acres (1.3 km2) of land were donated by the National Geographic Society to the American people. It is now administered and maintained by the National Park Service. The National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.

Russell Cave has an exceptionally large main entrance, which was used for thousands of years as a shelter by cultures of prehistoric Indians, from approximately 6500 BCE, the period of earliest-known human settlement in the southeastern United States, to 1650 CE and the period of European colonization. It is believed to have primarily served as a seasonal winter shelter. The people relied on the surrounding forest to gather produce and hunt for game and fish, stone and game for tools, and wood fuel for fires. Guided tours of the shelter area are available.
With a mapped length of 7.2 miles (11.6 km), Russell Cave is the third-longest mapped cave in Alabama. It is ranked 90th on the United States Long Cave List, and is listed as number 314 on the World Long Cave List. Caving is no longer allowed inside the cave. The grounds offer trails for walking, and the area is a station on the North Alabama Birding Trail.

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Russell Cave National Monument reviews

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99 reviews
  • This is a small unit of the NPS, but well worth visiting. The artifacts found in the cave are amazing given the time span they cover. Usually you have to visit a large major museum to see something....  more »
  • A little out the way but worth it. Staff was friendly. Short walk to the cave, you cannot enter and there’s not a lot to see. The video inside explains everything about the cave.  more »
  • Very small area with a large cave. Fascinating historical information about the people who lived in the area 10-12,000 years ago. The cave is about a 5 minute walk from the visitor's center. There is also a 1.2 mile nature path which is a bit challenging for younger kids. Has several picnic tables, running water, and vending machines. No camping facilities.
  • Not too much to see as far as the cave itself, but there were some pretty cool hiking options. Good place to visit if you're in the area. Oh, and they are dog friendly, just no dogs allowed in the building.

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