Dunbar Cave State Park

401 Old Dunbar Cave Road, Clarksville, TN 37043

(931) 648-5526


Dunbar Cave is a remarkable prehistoric site, not just for Tennessee but for the entire Eastern Woodlands. The cave has been used for thousands of years and is the site of significant prehistoric Mississippian Native American cave art dating to the 14th century. The 144-acre park is home to an array of wildlife, nearly five miles of trails, and picnic areas. 

For the Mississippian people that lived along the Red River in the 14th century CE (and perhaps even more broadly), Dunbar Cave was a sacred place. Though the cave is a physical place, the Mississippians believed it to be an actual portal into the Underworld or the level of the universe that existed below the level where we live. The Mississippians left many drawings on the walls of the cave, some in charcoal, some carved into the limestone itself. While we do not know exactly what the drawings meant, the symbols hold sacred meanings even today for modern indigenous peoples of the southeastern U.S. Today, these drawings are protected at Dunbar Cave State Park. During the cave tour season (May - September), we encourage you to take a tour to experience the awe of these drawings for yourself.

Nearly five 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 hikers past the cave entrance and around the lake. The Short Loop and Recovery Trails lead into the forest and over successional fields. All trails begin and end at the visitors' center. 

Hike a trail, learn about Dunbar Cave’s resort and musical history and its importance to African American history, or simply enjoy a picnic and watch the wildlife among the area's scenic beauty.

Information-General Information
  • Hours of Operation: Everyday: 8am-Sunset