Devil’s Den State Park & Butterfield Trail

I spent the weekend at or near Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas with a group from the Adventure Club.  The main objective was to backpack the 15-mile Butterfield Trail (which is mostly next door in the Ozark National Forest) and then see some of the short trails in the park if time permitted.

The carved and elaborately-painted sign at the entrance

We started at the Lee Creek trail head near campground “A” where we were greeted by an albino squirrel.

Albino squirrel

We crossed the creek, passed the walk-in camping area, and then headed up a long, but not steep, climb.  After about 2.5 miles we left the park and entered the ONF.

Heading across Lee Creek to the trail head

So many acres, so little time!

The trails were well-marked with one notable exception but a map is still a good idea.  There are a few horse trails in the area so those can be combined with the hiking trail to get some different lengths if desired.

One of many small waterfalls

Major rock fractures in Quaill Valley

Climbing up through Butterfield Falls

Lee Creek, just south of the park boundary

The sky was overcast most of the time and we had a couple sprinkles while eating lunch Saturday.  We knew before the trip that there was a good chance of some kind of rain on Sunday so I checked the forecast while we set up camp on Sunday.  There was a “significant probability of severe storms” for northern Arkansas with reports of tornadoes and baseball-size hail in Oklahoma.  We decided to pack and hike-out in the twilight to one of the park’s campgrounds so we could at least take shelter in one of the bathrooms if that came our way.  Lesson learned: check the forecast before setting up camp!

A fairly gentle rain started about 6:30 Sunday morning but mostly stopped by 7:30.  Oh well.  At least we now had more time to explore one of the park’s star attractions: the Devil’s Den Trail.

Twin Falls

Unfortunately, the light was too dim for my crappy camera to get many non-blurry pictures and the battery ran out of juice too so I don’t have many pictures from that area.  Pictures don’t do it justice anyway.  Go see it in person!

My SteriPen failed again, and this time the problem is the bulb.  It’s a bit over a year old but has a 3 year warranty so I’ll see how that works out.  Update:  I sent it in for repair and had a replacement in 2 weeks.

About Michael R

I enjoy hiking, landscaping with native plants, nature photography, dark chocolate, fine dining, good movies, and old jazz.
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1 Response to Devil’s Den State Park & Butterfield Trail

  1. paul says:

    enjoyed your take on the trail thanks for the reading material on this subject.

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