Tennessee State Parks

Dunbar Cave State Park

Activities

Birding

The park’s main feature is the largest cave in the Western Highland Rim, containing three of ten miles of accessible passage. The entrance is gated, and open to guided tours, however, the cave mouth itself is a great place to experience cool cave air, and see the nesting Eastern Phoebe and several bat species exiting the cave near sunset. Swan Lake, impounded on a stream issuing from the cave, supports Canada Geese, Mallards, and surprise waterfowl visitors during migration and in winter.

Red-eared Sliders, Painted, and Common Snapping Turtles sun themselves upon fallen logs and can be easily seen while walking the trail along the lake’s edge and into the hilly mixed deciduous woods, excellent for spring and fall birding.

Fishing

Bank fishing is a popular activity on beautiful Swan Lake.  The cold, spring-fed, 15 acre lake is open year round and provides habitat for bass, panfish, and catfish. Boats are not permitted on the lake. Bait, tackle, snacks and fishing licenses are available off-site. 

Hiking

Over three miles of hiking trails range from the easy Lake Trail, the moderate Short Loop, to the strenuous Recovery Trail, which has several steep hills. All trails take you past the cave entrance and around the lake. The Short Loop and Recovery Trails take you into the forest and over successional fields. All trails begin and end at the visitors' center.

Lake Trail — 0.7 Miles — Paved Surface — Easy
Short Loop Trail — 1.1 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Recovery Trail — 1.9 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate