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Dunbar Cave

Plan Your Visit

Hours of Operation
8am until sunset.

Map of the park

Take Interstate 24 to Exit 8 (Rossview Road).
Turn left on Rossview Road.
Travel 1/4 mile to Dunbar Cave Road.
Turn left on Dunbar Cave Road.
The park entrance is 2.5 miles on the right.

Park Activities

Fishing Hiking Trails Natural Area Picnic Facilities

Points of Interest

  Port Royal State Park
  Land Between the Lakes (50 miles)
  Fort Donelson National Battlefield (35 miles)

Get Involved

  Friends of Dunbar Cave State Natural Area
Dunbar Cave is located 60 minutes northwest of Nashville and about one and a half miles northeast of downtown Clarksville, TN in Montgomery County. Dunbar Cave is the most prominent of several caves located in this designated natural area. In the roomy mouth of the cave, square dances, radio shows, and big band era concerts were once held.

Events and Programs

Cave Hikes

August Schedule:
  • August 20 - 31, Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • September and October Schedule - every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

  • Labor Day Hikes, September 1 - 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • Participants must make a reservation in advance, be at least three (3) years old (able to walk for 1-1/2 hours without being carried) and each person must have or rent a flashlight (required-one per person). Photography is not allowed in the cave. The cost is $5.00 per person, $2.00 per flashlight rental. Call (931) 648-5526 for more information or reservations.

    Friends of Dunbar Cave meet every third Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the Visitor Center.


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

    Tennessee Fishing Regulations (exit TDEC)
    Tennessee State Parks fishing policies

    Hiking Trails

    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.

    Lake Trail: 0.67 mile (easy, partially paved)
    Short Loop: 1.1 miles (moderate)
    Recovery Trail: 1.9 miles (moderate)

    Natural Area

    This 110-acre natural area in Montgomery County is honeycombed by caves and sinkholes, the most prominent being Dunbar Cave. This 8.1 mile cave has historical, natural, archaeological and geological significance. Excavations revealed that this cave has been occupied by man for thousands of years, drawn by its constant stream flow and natural air conditioning.

    For more information, visit the Natural Areas web site.

    Picnic Facilities

    The park has seven picnic tables located just behind the visitors' center on a hill overlooking scenic Swan Lake.

    Picnic area is not wheelchair accessible.

    Visitors Center

    8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Tour Buses

    Tour buses are welcome, but please contact the park a month in advance.