Nunley Mountain Cave Nature Preserve
Grundy County, Tennessee
Nunley Mountain Cave is one of Tennessee’s most complex cave systems and became our 23rd Nature Preserve in 2021. To establish this Preserve, the NSS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the landowner to provide conservation and education opportunities on the property through a management partnership. This significant parcel in Savage Cove is comprised of 323 rugged acres of mature hardwood forestland, a spectacular array of botanical species, including large populations of the federally-listed endangered Morefield’s Leatherflower, beautiful waterfalls, bluffs, three gated entrances to Nunley Mountain Cave and ten smaller caves and pits. The cave itself is dominated by majestic borehole trunks lined with delicate gypsum and aragonite deposits, but also possesses a dozen cave-obligate species including the Southern Cavefish and an endemic cave beetle, Pleistocene bat guano deposits, and fossilized remains of black bear and raccoon.