Dunbar Cave reopens with seasonal cave tours and hiking trials
Prepare your hiking boots and flashlights for cave tours and hiking trails. Dunbar Cave is open again – now that hibernation is over for resident bats.
The eight-mile cave at Dunbar Cave State Park reopened on May 1 on May 1.
There are four one-hour tours each day with a maximum of 20 people.
“It’s a journey through the human history of the cave,” Ball said. “It focuses primarily on how humans have interacted with the cave over the past 10,000 years.”
The walls, marked with carvings from thousands of years ago, are popular attractions. These religious symbols include:
- Concentric circles
- Striped suns
- An anthropomorphic warrior figure
Masks are not required at Dunbar Cave, but are encouraged, according to the website. Disposable masks are provided free of charge.
If you are planning to visit Dunbar Cave, here are a few more facts you want to know:
- Participants in the cave tour must bring a hand-held flashlight
- Children 4 years old and younger are not allowed in the cave
- Reservations are recommended
Hiking trails and more
The 144-acre park has over three miles of hiking trails. Each trail takes hikers past the entrance to the cave and around the lake. Here is a list of trails and mileage:
- Lake trail: easy, 0.7 miles, paved surface
- Short Loop Trail: Moderate, 1.1 miles, natural surface
- Recovery trail: moderate, 1.9 miles, natural surface
- Tennessee State Parks also offers interactive educational experiences at Dunbar Cave with Park Rangers.
Educational programs include:
- Field trips to the park
- Class or schoolyard visits
- Custom programs
Dunbar Cave is closed each year from September to April to allow its resident bats to hibernate without interruption. The site offers programs that cover Indigenous history, state and local history, geology, prairie restoration and more. For more information on Dunbar Cave State Park on 401 Old Dunbar Cave Road, visit www.tnstateparks.com/parks/dunbar-cave or call 931-648-5526.
Alexis Clark can be reached at [email protected] or 931-217-8519.