Plan Your Visit

Key Cave Landscape

Visitor Center: No visitor center is present on site and no visitor services are currently offered.


Administration Office:

Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge is a satellite Refuge of Wheeler NWR Complex 
in nearby Decatur, AL. Key Cave NWR is currently unstaffed and all
management activities are carried out by Wheeler NWR staff.

Contact Information: 

Project Leader, Wheeler NWR Complex
2700 Refuge Headquarters Rd.
Decatur, AL 35603 
PHONE: (256) 353-7243
FAX: (256) 340-9728


Key Cave NWR is located about 5 miles southwest of Florence, Alabama.
• From State Route 20, turn west on Lauderdale County Route 2 (Gunwaleford Road).
• Follow Route 2 for about four miles and turn south on Lauderdale
  County Route 223 (gravel road).
• Follow Route 223 for about 1.5 miles and turn west on Lauderdale
  County Route 204 (gravel road).
• Follow Route 204 for 0.25 miles and the Refuge is located on the south side of the road.

Latitudinal and longitudinal location is: 34.7520° N, 87.7825° W

Points of Interest:

The Refuge protects the only known population of endangered Alabama cavefish (Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni), and just nine specimens are known to exist in scientific collections. Based on distribution, specimens collected, and individuals observed, this fish appears to be the rarest of American cavefish and one of the rarest freshwater fish. Two species of blind crayfish (Procambarus pecki and Cambarus jonesi) inhabit Key Cave. Additionally, the cave is used by up to 40,000 endangered gray bats.

Several bird species of management concern use Key Cave NWR’s grasslands. These species include grasshopper sparrows, dickcissels, northern harriers, short-eared owls, loggerhead shrikes, and northern bobwhites.

Know Before You Go:

There are no visitor services such as restrooms or fountains present. Key Cave itself is managed for protection; therefore, it is not open to the public due to the potential for disturbance of the federally endangered Alabama cavefish and gray bats. Persons visiting the refuge may park at the kiosk parking lot, graveled parking lot located off  County Route 204 west of the kiosk, or graveled parking lot off  County Route 218 on east side of the refuge. Depending on season, be sure to bring insect repellent, drinking water, and sunscreen to ensure you are protected from the natural elements.