Public Notice as of March 14, 2017: Dunbar Cave State Park is currently in the process of restoring the lake to a more pristine and functional body of water that will better serve visitors. In order for this to be accomplished, Tennessee State Park staff are lowering the lake to conduct soil testing. Once tested, staff will be better able to assess the situation and devise a cost-effective repair that will enhance the lake for the local community.
Interpretive Programs and Tours
The park offers scheduled nature programs year-round for all ages, on many nature topics including birds, wildflowers, bats, geology and more. The park also offers ranger-led Cave Tours during May through August. Reservations are required. For complete tour details, please view our event calendar.
Dunbar is one of the largest caves in Montgomery County. This eight mile long cave has historical, natural, archaeological and geological significance. Excavations revealed that the cave has been occupied by man for thousands of years, drawn by its constant stream flow and natural air conditioning.
One of the unique features of the cave are the Native American Mississippian hieroglyphs, dating from approximately 1350 AD. Religious symbols including circles, stars and a supernatural male warrior figure were drawn and carved on the walls of the cave and can be seen on the tour. The cave is also habitat for several rare animals including the federally endangered gray bat, a blind cave crayfish and the southern cavefish. Cave salamanders, crickets and other animals as well as fungi and bacteria live near the front of the cave in the area known as the twilight zone.