Alabama in the southern United States has one of the highest densities of caves by area of any state in the U.S. Cavers the world over come to Alabama to get a chance to explore its wealth of amazing caves. Unfortunately, some of the best caves in the state are located on private property; however, there are a number of caves open to the public or accessible on tours that provide the average tourist with plenty of opportunities to go down below in Alabama. Many of the caves were historically used by Native Americans, so in addition to having a rich natural beauty, several have historical significance as well as signs of their prehistoric residents. Scroll to see the full list with photos or jump to the table of contents.


Cathedral Caverns State Park

Cathedral Caverns State Park

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Cathedral Caverns State Park in Alabama is a relatively new state park that features a massive entrance and contains beautiful formations. Some of the significant features include “Goliath” – one of the biggest stalagmites on the planet – a frozen waterfall, a stalagmite forest, and more. The cave is a delightful 60°F all year long, which makes it pleasant to visit in any season.

There are a number of cave tours scheduled each day and parts of the cave are accessible for those with restricted mobility. Other activities in the park include hiking the trail network, gemstone mining, and camping in primitive tent camping areas and the backcountry. Explore weekend getaways in Alabama for more travel ideas.

637 Cave Road, Woodville, AL 35769, Phone: 256-728-8193


DeSoto Caverns

DeSoto Caverns

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DeSoto Caverns is a beautiful and historic show cave near Birmingham.

Throughout the years, the cave has seen many uses. Prehistoric Indians lived and died here, Confederate soldiers mined the cave for gunpowder, and it was used to house a moonshine still during the Prohibition.

The cave is open to the public all year round and has visitor services such as a gift shop, cafe, picnic area, and more.

In addition to the cave, there are a number of family-friendly attractions on the grounds, such as water golf, gem panning, a maze, archery, and much more, making DeSoto Caverns an attractive place to spend a day with the kids.

5181 DeSoto Caverns Parkway, Childersburg, Alabama 35044, Phone: 256-378-7252

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Caves in Alabama: Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Caves in Alabama: Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge

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The Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge is a 199-acre wildlife preserve in Decatur, Northeastern Alabama.

The wildlife refuge was created to preserve and protect the habitat of endangered species of bats that call Fern Cave home. In fact, there are more than a million bats that live in the cave, including the largest colony of gray bats in the country.

The area surrounding the cave consists of forested hillsides. The cave itself has five hidden entrances, and access to the cave is quite difficult and should only be attempted by the most expert cavers.

Those who are afforded access will certainly be impressed as the cave is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country. There are many great things to do in Decatur.

2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603, Phone: 256-353-7243


Manitou Cave

Manitou Cave

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Manitou Cave is a cave in Alabama near Lookout Mountain. The cave was once a popular tourist attraction but is now closed to the general public.

However, it is possible to visit the cave by participating in the adventure tours offered by private tour companies. A tour of the cave takes at least 1.5 hours.

The first part of the cave has concrete steps and wooden and steel bridges.

Some of the rare and endangered species that live in the cave include the eastern milk snake, the green salamander, and the Manitou cave snail, which is only found in this cave. Browse our places to visit in Alabama guide for more ideas.

3179 Green Valley Road, Cahaba Heights, AL 352443


Rickwood Caverns State Park

Rickwood Caverns State Park

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Rickwood Caverns State Park is a state park near Warrior, Alabama. The park’s main draw is the large network of caverns that give it its name.

The caves have many interesting features, including underground pools, rock formations, and rare blind cave fish. Visitors can tour the caves on docent-guided tours and access is only permitted with a guide. The tours are scheduled several times a day and depart from the park’s gift shop.

In addition to touring the caves, the park has campsites, hiking trails, wildlife watching opportunities, and an Olympic-size swimming pool that is fed with water from inside the cave. Things to Do in Alabama

370 Rickwood Park Road, Warrior, AL 35180, Phone: 205-647-9692


Russell Cave National Monument

Russell Cave National Monument

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Russell Cave National Monument is a National Monument in the northeastern corner of Alabama near Bridgeport. A total of 7.2 miles inside of Russell Cave have been mapped, making it the state’s third longest cave and one of the longest caves in the country. The cave has a massive main entrance, which was used as shelter for Native Americans, and the site has many clues as to how these original residents once lived. The cave itself is not open for visitors to explore, but they can access the cave entrance, where many historical artifacts have been found. There is a visitors center with a museum where visitors can learn even more about the people who once lived here.

3729 County Road 98, Bridgeport, AL 35740, Phone: 256-495-2672, (website link)

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Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge

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Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge is a 264-acre wildlife refuge and nature preserve that was created to protect endangered bat species, namely the gray and Indiana bats. A number of other rare species of plants and animals also call the cave home. The park has two entrances to its namesake cave, but visitors are not permitted inside as the cave is a protected habitat. The area around the cave offers plenty of chances to see wildlife and hike trails. Many come to view the bats emerging from the cave at sundown in the summertime. There is a viewing platform, from which visitors can see around 400,000 bats as they leave the cave to hunt.

2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603, Phone: 256-353-7243

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Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve

Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve

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Nestled in the center of Jackson County, visitors can hike to the beloved Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve. The trail leading to the cave may be steep and slippery with primitive conditions but is well worth the effort of seeing this highly-photographed geological marvel. The cave’s pit reaches 143 feet deep, and the bottom can only be reached by those with proper caving skills, knowledge, and equipment. However, inexperienced visitors can still admire views from the top of the pit through a short, walk-in passage. The cave limits its daily visitors, so be sure to plan and book your permit ahead of time. Depending on the season, weekend permits are taken up to 3 weeks in advance.

8408 County Road 30, Woodville, Alabama 35776; Phone: 423-771-9671, (website link)

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AL Caves: Neversink Pit

AL Caves: Neversink Pit

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Photographed and featured in numerous publications, Jackson County’s Neversink Pit is often considered to be “the” classic pit. At its top opening, the pit spans 40 feet in diameter and balloons to an even wider 100 feet at its bottom. Proper caving skills and equipment are required to rappel down 162 feet to its bottom, with different wonderous sights to be seen on the way down. In the winter, rappelers will see sheets of ice throughout the pit, while peaceful waterfalls appear after spring rains, and beautiful ferns run over the cave’s ledges during summer. It’s no wonder why Neversink Pit has long been adored and frequented by cave explorers.

Fackler, Alabama 35746

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Tumbling Rock Cave

Tumbling Rock Cave

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Both experienced and beginner cave explorers are welcome at Tumbling Rock Cave. The cave features more than 6 miles of unique passageways ranging in difficulty and features some of the most unique formations in the state. Explorers will find stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and sizes, some even resembling an elephant’s foot and a Christmas tree. Historical artifacts may also be spotted within the cave such as mining equipment and soldiers’ signatures on the walls, which date back to the Civil War. The star of the cave would have to be the Topless Dome—a 400-foot-tall shaft featuring an underground waterfall. The cave naturally maintains a 58-degree temperature, so visitors can comfortably explore the cave even during hot southern summers.

3407 County Road 111, Fackler, Alabama 35746

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Caves in Alabama: Three Caves

Caves in Alabama: Three Caves

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Nestled within the trees of Monte Santo Nature Preserve, hikers on the Three Caves Loop trail can catch overlooking views of the wonderous Three Caves. Formerly known as Hermitage Quarry, the caves weren’t naturally formed but started as limestone mines. Miners needed to go further underground to reach quality limestone, and the cave’s three distinct openings were created as they employed a “room and pillar” mining method. Much of the limestone from the quarry was eventually used in the construction of Huntsville's streets and parking lots. While the cave itself was closed to visitors and tours in 2006, views from the top are equally breathtaking along with other trail discoveries like waterfalls, natural springs, and sinkholes.

901 Kennamer Drive SE, Huntsville, Alabama 35801; Phone: 256-534-5263

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Alabama Caves: Rattlesnake Saloon Cave

Alabama Caves: Rattlesnake Saloon Cave

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Visitors are in for a cave experience unlike any other as they dine in Rattlesnake Saloon. Family owned and operated; the saloon is located beneath a fern-covered cave on land that’s been in the family since 1916. Over many years, the land was mostly used for farming and timber. In fact, the saloon’s very structure was originally a hog pen. Eventually, the land was used to open Seven Springs Lodge along with Rattlesnake Saloon. Since the saloon’s opening in 2009, it’s become one of the area’s top attractions bringing in guests from around the world and being featured in numerous magazines and television shows. Families are welcome to enjoy classic southern hospitality along with live musical entertainment as they fill their bellies with favorites like burgers and chicken wings.

1292 Mount Mills Road, Tuscumbia, Alabama 35674; Phone: 256-370-7220

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Cave Near Me: Dismals Canyon

Cave Near Me: Dismals Canyon

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Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1975, Dismals Canyon is a beautiful and mysterious nature conservatory spanning 85 acres. A 1.5-mile hiking trail takes visitors through a diverse forest with majestic waterfalls, towering boulders, and thriving plant life. Hikers will eventually reach the canyon floor where they’ll find a beautiful sunken garden filled with mossy ferns and various giant trees—a sight well worth the effort. Dismal Canyons are also home to bioluminescent dismalites, a close relative of the glowworms native to Australia and New Zealand. Evening guided tours are available for visitors to witness these glowworms in all their glory. For those wanting to extend their stay, two Western Red Cedar cabins are available on-site with comfortable furnishings and modern appliances.

901 Highway 8, Phil Campbell, Alabama 35581; Phone: 205-993-4559

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12 Best Caves in Alabama :