Caves on the Refuge


Several caves in north Alabama are managed by Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex to protect the diverse habitats and wildlife that they contain.  While the caves themselves are closed to all entry, Cave Springs Cave and Sauta Cave provide great bat viewing opportunities on summer evenings from just outside the caves.

  • Cave Springs Cave - Wheeler NWR


    Cave Springs Cave is closed to public entry. The cave itself is gated and any public entry into the cave will be treated as a ticketable offense (50 C.F.R. § 25.21e). The general area around the cave is open to public entry. The natural area in front of the mouth of the cave provides an excellent viewing opportunity to see emerging bats during the summer months in the evening. The area can be accessed by a small trail about 25 yards south of the intersection of Mussel Camp Road and Truck Trail. The trail is unmarked and leads eastward from Mussel Camp Road to the cave entrance.

  • Rockhouse Cave - Wheeler NWR


    Rockhouse Cave is north of the Tennessee River and east of Rockhouse Road. The cave and the area around the cave is closed to public entry. This closure is delineated with clearly posted "Area Closed" signs and was primarily enacted to curtail recurring resource damage resulting from vandalism, trash dumping, and extensive graffiti on the bluff and within the cave and, more sadly, on cave creatures as well. The area behind these signs and the cave itself is closed to all public access and any entry by the public into these closed areas will be treated as a ticketable offense (50 C.F.R. § 25.21e).

  • Sauta Cave NWR - Scottsboro, AL


    Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge provides a wonderful opportunity to view the emergence of hundreds of thousands of bats during the summer months.  The refuge is located near Scottsboro, Alabama and while the cave itself is closed to public entry, a viewing platform provides a great place to watch the bats emerge near near sunset.  Please visit Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge's webpage for more information about visiting.

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  • Other Cave Refuges - North Alabama

    Several other caves in north Alabama are managed for their unique and rare wildlife.  Caves at Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge and Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge are closed to public entry.  More information about these refuges can be found at their websites.