June 30, 2011 by wcobserver
by Megan Webb
Devils Den State Park is a treasured attraction. Built to withstand the test of time by the Civilian Conservation Corp, it is the perfect place to take your family for an unforgettable vacation. Devils Den State Park is also the perfect place to bring the biggest member of your family, your horse.
The park features an equine camp that contains approximately 20 miles of riding trails in the Lee Creek Valley and on surrounding ridges. All trails begin and end at the horse camp site and have water access for both horse and rider. Riders will find a complete campground where they can camp with their horses. The campground features campsites with hookups, and a modern bathhouse. They also include a wash rack for your equine friend. What better location to give your horse the 5 star treatments he or she deserves after a hard day on the trails? When asked what she liked most about the trail riding at Devils Den Stephanie Oberg said “my favorite part was splashing through the creeks and the river that we had to cross.” Beth Ferguson, a long time trail rider said “I love the horse facility at Devil’s Den and the trails!”
Each trail is blazed with a colored diamond-shaped plate with a horseshoe symbol in the center. The Old Road Trail, which begins across from the entrance to the horse camp, is blazed yellow. The Gorley King Trail (blazed in red), and the Vista Point Trail (blazed in green), both begin inside the horse camp near the bathroom. These trails start together, split and soon meet again, and where they conjoin they are marked with both the red and green blaze. Where the horseshoe symbol appears to be hanging upside down, this is a warning that the trail makes an obscure turn or intersects with the other trails or roads. Be sure to look for the next blaze before proceeding. The trails and descriptions are provided below:
1. Old Road Trail (yellow blaze): 5 miles, 2 hours. This safe, easy trail is the only horse trail located entirely within the park boundary;
2. Gorley King Trail (red blaze): 7 miles, 3 hours. Moderate in difficulty; and
3. Vista Point Trail (green blaze): 8 miles, 5 hours. This trail contains steep climbs and ledge riding, requiring experienced horses and riders.
Horses are welcome on Highways 170, 74 and 220, but are not permitted on other park roads or in camping area other than the horse camp. Also, horses are not permitted in the crevice area, Yellow Rock or on any of the hiking trails except where the horse trails and the Butterfield Hiking Trail are the same.
We encourage any questions that you may have, and hope that a visit from you and your equine friend is in the near future. Remember great vacation destinations for you and your equine are just a hoof print away! You can find more information at http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden/ or call our visitor center at 479-761-3325.