Old Cahawba Archaeological
From 1819 to 1826, Cahawba served as Alabama's first
capital. It was once a thriving antebellum river town, a
major distribution point for cotton shipped down the Alabama
River to Mobile, a Confederate prison for captured Union
soldiers, and a rural community of African American
families. By 1900, however, most of Cahawba's buildings had
burned, collapsed, or had been dismantled. A place of
picturesque ruins, Cahawba today is an important
archaeological park with an extensive descendants' network.
Things to do:
Visit the Welcome Center with
exhibits, visitor information, restrooms and gift shop.
Explore a landscape of ruins and
relics, chimneys and gravestones, ornamental well heads
and columns with our self-guided brochures.
Ride a bike. Bring your own or borrow one from us - or
free! The park has five miles of smooth, level roads,
very little automobile traffic, and a free explorer's
Launch a canoe or kayak. Explore the last big bend in
the Cahaba River before it meets the Alabama.
Enjoy the picnic areas with
tables, grills, water fountains and restrooms.
Wheelchair accessible picnic tables are available.
Hike our nature trail with
scenic overlook that is fully accessible for visitors in
wheel chairs or with other mobility impairments (Distance: half mile loop; Grade: Maximum 3%; Cross
Slope: Maximum 2%; Width: Minimum tread 60"; Surface:
100% of the trail is paved)
Old Cahawba Archaeological Park
9518 Cahaba Road
Orrville, AL 36767
Phone: (334) 872-8058
Fax: (334) 877-4253
The site is open daily from 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m.; the Welcome Center from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Visitor information and self-guided driving and
walking trail brochures are available at the Welcome
Center daily from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For morning
visitors, a selection of brochures is available on
the Welcome Center porch.
The ghost town of Old Cahawba lies
at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers. From
Selma, take Highway 22 west 9 miles. Turn left onto County
Road 9 and follow this 5 miles. Turn left onto County Road 2
and follow this into the park.
College students, seniors, military
Children (18 & under)
*School groups are required to have 1 adult per 15 students.
Those adults are admitted at no charge.
Scheduling a Tour
Guided tours are offered in the morning by appointment
only. Please call 334-872-8058.
All tours must be booked 2 weeks in
advance. You may download a
Request a Tour form.
To view this form, you will need to
Acrobat Reader which is free.
Old Cahawba Tour Options
Journey into Cahawba's past as your guide leads you
among the abandoned streets and picturesque ruins,
recreating the town in your mind's eye. Learn of the
rise and fall of Alabama's first state capital and most
famous ghost town. Morning tours available for grades 4
and up, 2 hrs in length. Select your method of
transportation from an old fashioned wagon, a scenic
walking tour, or a convenient step-on guide.
Bring Your Own Bicycle
Tours --- Last Saturday in March and September
Haunted History Tours
--- Held Annually in October
Hear the Dead Speak
--- Held Annually in October
See also Calendar of Events
The picnic area is available for
family reunions and large gatherings.
Genealogists and Civil War Buffs:
Do You Have A Cahawba Ancestor?
If you have an antebellum ancestor
that lived in Cahawba or was imprisoned in the Cahaba Prison
(sometimes called "Castle Morgan") as a captured Union
soldier, the Cahawba Site Director might have some
information for you. Just drop her a note requesting a
search of her research files. Be sure to include your
return address, your ancestor's name, and as much additional
information as possible. Be patient however, since
inquiries will be answered on a first come first serve
basis. Write to: Site Director, Old Cahawba, 719 Tremont
Street, Selma, AL 36701-5446.