Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Devil's Den

A few weeks ago, I was in the area and decided to make a quick stop at Devil's Den State Park, near Fayetteville. This is a very popular park, and it was busy with people checking out the caves and waterfalls there. It had probably been 20 years since I last went through the park, and I didn't remember much about the place. It's usually a long drive to reach the park from Little Rock, but I was on my way to Fayetteville and the park is conveniently located near the freeway.

Along the way to the park, I pulled over along the road at a neat old barn. The sky was cloudy, so it isn't the most exciting backdrop for the barn. I tried to find a good tree that would cover most of the sky up...

A stone dam, built by the CCC during the Great Depression, is a popular spot at Devil's Den. There was even a wedding reception being held a pavilion next to the waterfall. There were a lot of people out there, climbing on the rocks and taking pictures.

And a much closer view of the waterfall that tumbles over the dam:

The dam is along Lee Creek, which flows through the park. This is the view of the creek a few hundred yards below the dam.

There are several hiking trails at Devil's Den, which I assume go and explore other areas of the Devil's home - like his kitchen, spare bedroom and utility closet. But one of the most popular trails runs above Lee Creek and passes by several small caves (including one called the Devil's Icebox). The trail also passes by and under some waterfalls, which were sure to be running after all the recent rain.

The trail was busy with a lot of families out exploring the woods. The fall color there was coming along nicely, though I was probably there a week or so too early.

The trail passed under huge bluffs and weathered boulders. Moss and lichen were everywhere, along with several bizarrely-shaped rocks.

Soon the trail reaches the waterfalls. The falls are called Twin Falls, because there are two waterfalls that both run over a bluff next to each other. One half of the falls wasn't running much, and was just more than a trickle. But the other half was flowing much better. The trail here actually runs under the first half of the falls, and then crosses over a bridge right next to the second half. This is the view of the falls from the wooden bridge.

And another view. It's not the biggest or most powerful waterfall around, but it's still such a neat thing for us to actually have waterfalls this time of year.

And one last view of the falls, with the wooden bridge that crosses it...

The trail curves back around and follows the creek, passing by an old homestead along the way back to the trailhead. But my afternoon there took a turn for the bizarre, when I rounded a turn along the trail and saw none other than the Devil. He was perched upon a hickory stump, and then proceeded to explain that he was in bind, cause he was way behind, and was willing to make a deal. He then added that if I cared to take a dare, he'd make a bet with me. He laid down a golden fiddle on the ground at my feet, willing to bet a fiddle of gold against my soul. Now it might be a sin, but I was pressed for time and politely declined.

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