Explore Devil’s Den State Park

February 15th, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Devil’s Den State Park DamDevil’s Den State Park, just 40 minutes south of Fayetteville, AR, is an Arkansas icon with fishing, boating, hiking trails, caves, and one of the best-preserved CCC park developments in the country.

Devil’s Den State Park was created in the 1930’s as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program. The CCC first built the road to Devil’s Den, which later became Arkansas 170. Then they added hiking trails, cabins, offices, and a restaurant. They also built the stone dam across Lee Creek.

The CCC’s signature rustic wood and stone structures utilized native materials that mirror the surrounding beauty. Though some of the original structures have been lost, Devil’s Den remains one of the most complete CCC parks in the country. The entire park was designated a National Historic District in 1994 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sandstone Crevice Caves

One of the park’s most unique features – and where it gets its name – is the sandstone crevice area, containing around 60 caves. The deepest is Devil’s Den Cave, which goes some 550 feet back into the hillside.

The caves are home to a variety of bats, including the endangered Ozark big-eared bat. The Ozark big-eared bat is so endangered, in fact, that Big Ear Cave, the cave they hibernate in here at the park, is off limits and protected by alarm.

Devil’s Den State Park waterfallYou’re more than welcome to explore the park’s other caves and crevices, however. The Devil’s Ice Box, for example, is one of the most popular. The cold air that rushes out of this cave’s mouth and gives it its name, enters at a higher point on the mountain to create the effect. Be sure to bring a flashlight if you hope to explore any of the caves.

The park is also home to a variety of unique and fascinating rock formations that are fun to explore, and climb.

Park Activities

Beyond the caves and rock formations, Devil’s Den offers a wide variety of activities.

If you like hiking, you’ve come to the right place. There are more than 20 trails in the park for hiking and mountain biking. Many lead to back-country areas of the park and Ozark National Forest. One of the most popular is the Devil’s Den Trail, which includes two of the park’s best caves, gravity springs, wet weather waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife.

The 8-acre Lake Devil, formed by the dam on Lee Creek, provides fishing and boating. Canoes, tandem kayaks, pedal boats, and even water bikes are available for rent.

The park cafe and swimming pool, overlooking Lake Devil, open in summer. Other features include a playground, cabins, campsites, and a park store with groceries, fishing tackle, and camping supplies.

The park also hosts a variety of special of events throughout the year, such as the annual Bat-O-Rama and the upcoming Ozark Mountain Bike Festival.

Devil’s Den State Park

11333 West Arkansas Hwy. 74, West Fork, AR 72774

Visit www.arkansasstateparks.com for a full list of park activities and amenities.

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