A Weekend in the Park

The Community Bicyclist
Cabin 15 at Devil's Den State Park
Cabin 15 at Devil's Den State Park

We had been planning this weekend for months.  The final race in the Ozark Extreme Adventure Sprint Series would be at Devil’s Den State Park.  We had done the other two races at Cane Creek State Park and Village Creek State Park and were excited about the final being at one of my favorite state parks.  I’ll write more about the race later, it was only a part of a great weekend.

As a final summer treat we opted to rent a cabin in the park for both Friday and Saturday nights.  The cabins were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the 1930’s. Although they are old rustic classic style cabins they have been updated with modern amenities like air conditioning, satellite television and a huge hot tub. The kitchens are modern and stocked with all the necessary cooking implements.  We stayed in cabin 15, a one bedroom with a single pull-out bed in the living room. It was just the right size for us. The rock construction in and around the cabin is a work of art.

We got to the park just before 8 pm on Friday, time to get unloaded and settled in before dark.  We decided to take it easy that night and prepare for the next day’s race.  After a good nights sleep L and I went down to the parks’ new pavilion for the race start at 10:30.  By 4:30 we were done with the race but certainly not done with the weekend or the park.

Deep in the cave
Deep in the cave

A dinner of grilled brats and scalloped potatoes was the perfect meal. Then we were off for a park program lead by Casey the park interpreter.  Casey was very engaging taking us on a short hike on the Devil’s Den Trail and explaining the unique geology of the park.  Devil’s Den is known for it’s caves and crevices. Casey explained that sandstone on top of shale plus a little pushing up from below and lots of water created over 60 caves and crevices in the park. He also did a good job telling us about the human impact on the park.  The program culminated in a trip into one of the caves.  One cool thing was since it was dusk we dodged a lot of bats flying out as we walked in. The entire group went about 100 feet in the cave with Casey.   We were then given the option of going deeper while Casey took the rest out and back to the visitor center. Well of course we went deeper.  I was a bit concerned about the life expectancy of our headlamps and after a little while we turned back.  We walked back to the visitor center in the dark talking away about our latest adventure.

Jackalope
Blueberry Stuffed French Toast w/eggs
Blueberry Stuffed French Toast w/eggs

The evening found us tired so we just vegged in the cabin and watched Blazing Saddles. The next morning L got up and prepared one of the best breakfasts ever! Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Eggs. It was time to work off breakfast, first, packing up and cleaning up the cabin. Next, we were off to do a little more hiking, L and M had not been to the Yellow Rock overlook before so I decided to give them this special treat (actually L and I ran through the overlook area during the race but had no time to take the beauty in). A nice little hike up from camping area A to the overlook for pictures and to watch the vultures catching thermals in the Lee Creek Valley. We decided we needed to come back for fall color.

See also  Detour Destinations - Indian Rockhouse Cave
Yellow Rock Overlook at Devil's Den State Park
Yellow Rock Overlook at Devil's Den State Park

After heading back down to the car we toured some more of the park checking out the new campgrounds and the new suspension bridge over Lee Creek just downstream from the dam. By this time we were ready to eat again and after a quick browse and purchase in the park store we headed over to the Ridge Runner Cafe for lunch before hitting the road. The cafe is worth a visit both for the great park food and the ambiance. You get to sit at table built by the CCC in a CCC structure. If you visit the park when the cafe is open, don’t miss out on this treat. It was soon time for the trip home taking nothing but photos and memories.  Another GREAT Arkansas weekend!

Mullet Run - Northwoods Trails - Hot Springs

4 Responses

  1. Do you have any other photos of the cabin? We just reserved that one for our anniversary and are curious because she said it was smaller than the others but with a huge tub. If you have any photos you will share, please email me. Thanks in advance, your pics are great!

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