Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Fern Cave Entrance. Credit: USFWS

Fern Cave Entrance. Credit: USFWS

Question: Where is Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge?

Answer: Fern Cave NWR is located 20 miles west of Scottsboro, 30 miles east of Huntsville and 2 miles north of Paint Rock in Jackson County, Alabama.

Question: Is the cave open to the public?

Answer: The 199-acre refuge is open to the public. Access to Fern Cave itself is by special use permit only, due to the potential for disturbance of federally endangered Indiana and gray bats and threatened American Hart’s-tongue fern.

Question: What is there to see and do at Fern Cave NWR?

Answer: Hiking, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography are all activities that are available to the public.

Question: What endangered or threatened species are found at Fern Cave Refuge?

Answer: Fern Cave is home to the endangered gray bat and possibly the endangered Indian bat. More than one million gray bats hibernate in the cave. The cave was name after a rare fern named the threatened American Hart’s-tongue fern.


Last updated: June 15, 2009