Devil's Den State Park


Devils's Den State Park is located in West Fork, Arkansas. According to the site's homepage, the park was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. during the Great Depression. The park is full of hiking trails, horse trails and has camp sites all up and down Lee Creek that runs through the park:

It now stands as one of the most intact CCC sites in the U.S., with a legacy you can see in its trails and buildings like its original cabins. Some of the park’s unique characteristics are rock formations and caverns. An impressive rock dam spans Lee Creek forming Lake Devil, an 8-acre lake for fishing and boating with canoes and pedal boats for rent. The park’s hiking, backpacking, mountain bike, and horseback riding trails lead to the surrounding Ozark National Forest.

After spending an inordinate amount of time at the DMV last week, I decided to blow off the rest of my errands and head down to Devil's Den for a bit of relaxation and to escape civilization for a while. I used to visit the park quite a bit, but then Life got in the way and I slowly forgot about the park and how refreshed I felt after spending a day hiking and exploring the different trails and getting down to the water to wade about on a hot summer's day.

I always have a camera with me whenever I'm out and about in the car, so I just pointed my small but mighty Subaru Crosstrek south and drove the few miles from Fayetteville to Devil's Den, driving through fog and thick overcast skies. I passed farms and cow pastures, shrouded in mists, looking mysterious and isolated. I actually love foggy, overcast days. The weather adds to the photos I take, adding moodiness and textures, something that's hard to get "just right" in post production.

I didn't see much in the way of wildlife, but a herd of deer very nonchalantly crossed the road in front of me as I neared the park's entrance, stopping to look back at me curiously.

I had a beautiful time hiking around in the damp, chilly woods. I had the place to myself, it was quiet, peaceful and got my creative juices flowing once more, something which I'd been needing to happen.

As I left the park and headed north back home, I made a promise to myself to get back to Devil's Den sooner than later and as much as I can. There are far too many trails left to explore, photos to take and water to play in.

And moments to savor.

Written on January 19, 2019