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Dunbar Cave State Natural Area

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General Information

Dunbar Cave
Copyright: - Tennessee State Parks
Dunbar Cave
Description - This 110-acre natural area is honeycombed by caves and sinkholes, the most prominent being Dunbar Cave. This 8.1 mile cave has historical, natural, archaeological and geological significance. In the roomy mouth of the cave, square dances, radio shows, and big band era concerts were once held.

Attractions - Excavations revealed that this cave has been occupied by humans for thousands of years. The cave provided the perfect home site with its constant stream flow and natural air conditioning. In the roomy mouth of the cave, square dances, radio shows, and big band era concerts were once held.

There are three trails on the natural area that range from a leisurely walk to a fairly strenuous hike. All trails begin and end at the visitors' center.

Angling is a popular activity on Swan Lake. The lake is fed by the cold, clear stream that flows from the mouth of Dunbar Cave. Since it's only 15-acres in size, boating and swimming are not permitted.

Other nearby points of interest are the Land Between the Lakes (50 miles); and Fort Donelson National Battlefield (35 miles.)

Recreation - Fishing, hiking and caving activities are available at Dunbar Cave State Park. Cave hikes are offered at specific dates and times throughout the year. Contact the park for current schedules.

Climate - Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees. Summer's full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cool fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant fall colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall foliage.

Location - Dunbar Cave is located 60 minutes northwest of Nashville and about one and a half mile northeast of downtown Clarksville in Montgomery County.

From Nashville, take Interstate 24 to Exit 8 (Rossview Road). Take a left on Rossview Road, then 1/4 mile to Dunbar Cave Road. Take a left on Dunbar Cave Road. The park entrance is 2.5 miles on the right.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Ray Keane (Nashville, TN)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The best thing about the Cave trip was our guide, (Robert Emer)??? Has to be the best Ranger the state of TN has! This man made the history of the cave come alive for my son and myself. If you go to the cave, ask for him as your guide. Ray

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Park is open as of 09/02. I toured the cave last month. Cave tours are only on weekends through the fall. Call ahead for reservations. My 5 year old really enjoyed herself. See their website for tour times and requirements. http://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/dunbar/

Filed By: Ginger (Ashland City, Tn)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: This park is closed due to budget cuts. My family and I visited on January 21, 2002. I researched this to be sure it was closed due to budget cuts not due to weather or holiday schedule. It's too bad. I look forward to returning when it is re-opened.

More Information

Contact Information:
Dunbar Cave Natural Area, 401 Old Dunbar Cave Road , Clarkville, TN, 37043, Phone: 931-648-5526

Additional Information:
Middle Tennessee Region - This region encompasses the middle 1/3 of the state of Tennessee. It includes the Cumberland Plateau area and over 20 state parks and natural areas.
Tennessee State Parks - Tennessee offers over 50 State Parks located throughout the state. These parks provide opportunity for a wide variety of recreational activities from visiting historical sites to whitewater rafting.

Tennessee State Parks - Official Agency Website


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