Dunbar Cave State Natural Park Loop

Nashville, Tennessee 37218

Dunbar Cave State Natural Park Loop

Dunbar Cave State Natural Park Loop Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This hike uses two park trails to form a loop. It travels in the woods, along Swan Lake and beside the park’s namesake Dunbar Cave. If the walk doesn’t do enough for your legs, consider adding a cave tour, which follows underground paths."

Dunbar Cave State Natural Park Loop Trip Reports

3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
icon3 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
Pretty cool trail, really close to home. I remember growing up and visiting friends out this way and remember wondering why these kid's didn't have any grass, now I know why...it's the special "Glades". I enjoyed a nice late summer hike through glades and forests, even passing an ode to trash that has been collected by the local chapter maintaining the trail. In parts you can "Litter"ly see history as it was comman to dump trash in sinkholes. The trash is gone, but the rusty metal still hanging on before Iron Oxide takes over. I walked it in about 1 hour and 10 minutes, not stopping much, only seen, amazingly 4 people. (does not get much traffic). A couple of guys off the trail about 15 yards, maybe picking Ginsing? Keep a close eye out for the posts with the metel sign markers when you walk throught the glade portions, would be really easy to lose your bearings in the snow this winter. Had a really nice sink-hole with a disappearing stream, and some yuca plants along the way. Overall, a different kind of trek.
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
This trail is like a baby that is so ugly it's cute. It sits in a hard-scrabble Cedar Glade that is barren and dry. When you pull up to the parking area, it looks very drab, but as you begin to walk the trail, you will see how unique that it is. There are even cacti on the trail! The hike is easy and great for kids.
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
The directions in the guide are deceitful, as road names may have changed and they take you through unnecassary thick traffic. It's easier to get off at Exit 81B, take a right at the light by Wendy's and follow it until you see Greenland, then take a right on Halls Hill Pike, and from there the directions are correct. It will take half the time to get there, as opposed to taking 96.

None too impressive overall. It's an easy trail with some rocky portions, as well as plenty of tree stumps to catch you off guard. I've been twice now, haven't seen anyone else on the trail yet.

There is another trail attached to this one, right about the halfway point. The sign that points you to the trail says it's a loop, but after going about 3/4 of a mile down the trail, it appears to be a simple out and back. On the "2 Mile Loop" trail there is also a cave, which I haven't explored, but it looks to be fairly easy to access. Aside from the little bit of trash along the trail and the hulahoop hanging from a tree just before the halfway point and 2 mile loop connection, it's a pretty nice trail.

There is large wildlife in the area, wolf tracks have been spotted and on our first hike there were two coyotes trailing us about 20 feet to our left, for a good half mile. That's not enough to stop me from going to the trail again, but I certainly won't be going alone either.


Dunbar Cave State Natural Park Loop Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
1.2 hours
Local Contacts
Local Maps