Devil's Den State Park
The mountains surrounding
Devil's Den come alive with
color during the fall.
CCC Worker Monument
A statue paying tribute to the
CCC workers that built the
park is framed by beautiful fall
colors.
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Devil's Den State Park, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Devil's Den State Park, Arkansas
Devil's Den State Park - West Fork, Arkansas
Devil's Den State Park
The park takes its name from a rugged series of
bluffs, caves and rock formations.
Ravines, Caves and Mountains
Encompassing 2,500 acres of spectacular
mountain scenery and protecting the largest
sandstone crevice area in the United States,
Devil's Den State Park is located in the heart
of the Boston Mountains near West Fork,
Arkansas.

The land preserved within the park is rich in
history. One of the Devil's Den hiking trails,
for example, follows an old route used by the
Butterfield Stage Line from 1858 until the
outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. This famed
stagecoach line provided mail service from
St. Louis to San Francisco. With its 250
coaches and 800 employees, the Butterfield
could cover the distance between the two
cities in a then startling 22 days.

The Civil War brought an end to mail service
on the Butterfield Line, but opened a new era
in the history of Devil's Den. A part of the
famed Ozarks region, the mountains
surrounding the park were used as hideouts
by guerrilla bands during the Civil War.

Raiders emerged from hidden places in the
hills to strike both military and civilian targets.
Some of these men sympathized with the
Confederacy, while others were "Mountain
Feds" that loosely associated with the Union.

There was also regular military activity in the
area during the war. A major battle took place
nearby at
Prairie Grove in 1862 and Union
and Confederate forces routinely moved back
and forth through the region. Union troops
used the old route of the Butterfield Line
during a
raid on Van Buren in December of 18

Devil's Den State Park is best known,
however, for its natural history. The park
encompasses the largest sandstone crevice
area in the United States. A fascinating area
of ravines, bluffs, rock shelters and caves,
the crevice area is popular with visitors of all
ages.

A trail leads from the visitor center to some of
the most intriguing natural attractions in the
park. Among these are the Devil's Icebox
Cave, so named because of the cool breeze
that can be felt coming from its mouth on hot
days, and the remarkable Devil's Den Cave.
A fracture cave like the Devil's Icebox, the
Devil's Den Cave extends more than 500 feet
into the mountain and is one of the largest
fracture caves in America.

Also along the 1 1/2 mile trail, which has
been named a National Recreation Trail, are
bluffs, unusual rock formations and very nice
wet weather waterfalls.

The history of the building of the park can be
explored along the CCC Interpretive Trail.
This easy 1/2 mile trail takes hikers through
the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps
camp occupied by workers during the Great
Depression. Among their projects was the
development of the state park, which is now
considered one of the best preserved CCC
projects in the nation.

Other features at the park include a variety of
other hiking trails, beautiful scenery, a
mountain lake and stream, waterfalls, a
swimming pool, cabins, camping areas,
picnic areas, visitor center and more.

Click here to visit the park's outstanding
website for more information. You can also
click here to download and print copies of the
park brochure and map as well as trail maps
and other information.

Devil's Den State Park can be accessed via
Exit #45 (Winslow) or Exit #53 (West Fork)
from Interstate 540 south of Fayetteville,
Arkansas. Signs pointing to the park can be
found at both exits. You can also access
directions to the park from your location by
entering your city and state in the form at the
bottom of this page.
Inside the Devil's Icebox
This photo was taken inside
the Icebox cave at Devil's Den,
a cave named for the cool air
it gives on hot days.
Ravine and Cave
The ravines and caves at
Devil's Den are popular with
explorers who come to the
park year-round.
Mountain Lake at Devil's Den
A beautiful mountain lake is
one of the most popular
attractions at Devil's Den
State Park.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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