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“visiting russell cave”

Russell Cave National Monument
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Brunswick, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“visiting russell cave”
Reviewed July 13, 2014

was enjoyable but very little cave to explore, we did enjoy the historical aspect of the site, and the scenery was nice.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank DANIEL J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Roswell, Georgia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“Russell Cave National Monument”
Reviewed July 6, 2014

I am a travel writer who covers National Parks (npplan.com) and I visited Russell Cave National Monument in November 2013. The 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.

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, depending on whether or not you hike some of the trails. Make your first stop the Visitor Center, where you can ask questions, watch a short park film, and visit a museum.

Of course the main reason to visit the park is to see the cave, which you can do so on your own or with a Ranger if you are able to catch a guided tour. The cave is not what you would expect. It is a cave shelter, a rock outcropping where you could enter to get out of the rain, which is why it made such a great place to live for prehistoric people. It is not a traditional cave where you enter and go underground through various passageways. Most people spend no more than 20 minutes at the cave, which includes a short walk to the site.

There is also a trail around the property, but it is for exercise only. It does not lead to other historic sites. It is a strenuous uphill climb. I do not recommend this trail unless you just want some exercise.

For complete information and plenty of quality photos about Russell Cave, please visit my web site.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Steve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
1,297 reviews
361 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 795 helpful votes
“A CAVE WITH A PEDIGREE”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

This cave has a long history. It was occupied as far back as 10,000 years ago. Archaic Indians were here. There's evidence of that in the form of flint points, charcoal from campfires dated to more than 8,000 years ago, animal bones, the remains of birds and shellfish. Probably these natives used a short spear with an atlatl for hunting. The cave, in addition to providing shelter, was a source of water.

Mississippian people's were here too, much later. They probably eventually hunted with bow and arrow. Pottery came into vogue.

Later cultures used the cave up into historical times.

My wife and I started in the visitor's center to take in the exhibits and a ranger talk. Then down the boardwalk for the short, easy walk to the cave. There we were "greeted" by Indians from another millennium, some standing, some seated doing chores. More accurately, we were greeted by lifelike mannequins. Very interesting.

Worth a visit just because of the long history of this cave.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Bunmaster2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Nice Off-the-Beaten Path Visit - Not Far from Chattanooga”
Reviewed May 21, 2014

Russell Cave National Monument was an interesting way to spend a couple of hours in the beautiful outdoors. It's a small site, run by the National Park Service. There are hiking trails, a visitor's center, some educational exhibits, and an introductory film. The most fascinating thing about this cave is that it is the only site with artifacts covering all four historical periods from 10,000 BC to 1650 AD. You can walk back to the cave to see how it was used by the Native Americans throughout its history. The woods are lovely, the Park Service staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, and it was a nice afternoon break from the city.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Martha A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
72 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“If You Are In The Area....”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

This is a great visit if you are in the area or nearby. We live in Chattanooga, TN and so the trip was not too out of the way at 50 miles and we had already planned on visiting a state park that was about 30 miles from home so the 20 extra miles wasn't much. I don't think it would it is worth going out of your way for, unless like my husband and I you don't mind just getting out for a long relaxing drive. It is a beautiful area, visitor center is nice, the volunteer and ranger were extremely friendly and knowledgeable, but there is not much else to do but view the cave entrance, take the short hike and get your National Park Passport Book stamped. We arrived early morning on a Sunday morning and had the place to ourselves. We took the boardwalk to the cave entrance (this is wheel chair accessible) and snapped a few pictures. We were too early for the guided tour but I think it would have made it much more enjoyable to hearing the history while viewing the cave (tours offered at 11:00). After less than 10 minutes we were ready to head on.
After viewing the cave entrance we decided to take the 1.2 mile hike that is off the boardwalk. This is roughly paved so you will have a good grip for your sneakers. We have just moved from Florida where it is pretty flat so it was a bit of a challenge to make it to the top! The trail does zig zag up the mountain and down the mountain and it is kind of steep. Bring some water!
The visitor center is clean, informative and as I said earlier staffed with very nice, helpful people. There is a small gift shop, a vending machine and restrooms.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank lspencer09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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