Russell Cave is noted for having an archeological history of over 10,000 years. The Visitor Center helps you understand what this site has provided in the pre-historic times in North America. This diorama shows live in the cave over 5,000 years ago.
Archeology actually destroys the site as they dig. If done right, they will extract the artifacts from the site with notes and maps showing were everything was located. This includes each of the several layers of artifacts. From this information they can determine much of what happened on the site. Of course, none of it is left in the ground and all but the very bottom has been removed. In the case of Russell Cave, the soil was returned to the cave, leaving it much like it was found before the excavation.
"Trail to the Cave"
The trail winds back into the woods. It's a boardwalk, but there are numerous steps, making it unaccessible to a wheelchair. As you travel back along the path, you'll enter the sheltering woods.
The path winds around the front edge of the ridge rising above the valley floor. You'll turn into a narrows with a small stream running along the bottom. The narrows turns a corner and slowly you'll see the cave ahead. Here back in the shelter of the cave, tucked into a narrow side valley, the inhabitants of the cave found shelter from the weather and protection from beasts.
The boardwalk continues into the cave. When we visited, the cave was dry, except for the stream bed flowing along the eastern side of the cave. Spring can bring water further into the cave. Historically, the stream continued to dig a gully along it's path, leaving much of the cave well above the spring floods.
A lifesize diorama of life in the cave helps you visuallize what life was like some 5 or 10,000 years ago.