Moonshiners Cave Trail. Unofficial trail just outside Devil’s Den State Park in Winslow, Arkansas. Where it’s located and other entertainment information.
Moonshiners cave is one of those unofficial trails that not many people know about, unless you are from the area. Since it is just outside of Devil’s Den State Park, it can be confused as being part of the park’s trails.
Let’s be completely clear that even though this unofficial trail is very close to Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas, that it is not part of the state park or trail systems. That means that this trail is not marked with any signage or maintained. There is also little to no cell service in the area. – This post is for entertainment purposes only. Hike at own risk.
While our family was camping at Devil’s Den State Park, we heard about Moonshiners Cave. The story goes, that back in the early 1900’s a family once used this space to store food. Later, it is said, that bootleggers used it to make moonshine. Also giving it the less known name of bootleggers hideaway.
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Although the myths and stories are a little murky, it is clear that this cave structor is very old and unique. It’s not hard to imagine how this hidden location and waterfall access would make it an ideal spot for making moonshine during prohibition in the 1920’s.
Moonshiners Cave Trail
- 0.8 miles roundtrip- moderate trail. Not maintained or marked
You can find Moonshiners Cave Trail just outside of Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas. Taking route 74 West into the park, you’ll find a small parking area next to the State Park sign.
There is a small trail entrance a few hundred feet past the state park sign, to the left of the road.
On the righthand side of the road are power lines with a clearing underneath, and directly across from that is the trail start. (Do not follow the clearing under the power lines. That is not the trail.)
Since this trail is not marked and not maintained, it can be a bit rough. Large, loose, rocks are scattered along the path and the path itself looks like a dry creek bed. Stay to the left as the trail does meet up with one or two other paths.
Approximately 1/4 of a mile in there is a small clearing and, at the time our of visit, a round, stone, fire pit. Just past that, up and to the right, is a trail that leads down to the front side of a rock ledge.
Tucked underneath that ledge is Moonshiners Cave.
The front of this cave is blocked off by an old stone structure that includes a small doorway and a window. At one point there was a sign that read 1905, next to the entrance.
Since then the stone and rocks along the sides have begun to crumble. Peaking inside to the left and to the right, we noticed that this once root cellar turned bootleggers hideaway, is really not that large.
Although this little piece of the past is cool to look at, it is definitely not a place to play or walk in.
To the right of the cave is a few different small waterfalls coming from the stream just above the ledge. Just like any other waterfall in the area, I would expect that it is dependent on the rainfall and season.
Heading around the trail to start our walk back to the car, it’s clear to see how and why this little hideout was so effective.
With just a few steps you can see it, and then it just disappears into the natural surroundings. If you didn’t know it was there, you might just miss it completely.
Hiking down to the cave is a bit easier than walking back up to the parking area. Walking back is a slight incline the entire way until you reach the road above.
Things to remember:
- no cell service
- trail not marked
- trail not maintained
- loose rocks on trail
- not part of the state park
This unofficial trail down and back took our family approximately 45 minutes. Then we continued our way to the official trails of Devil’s Den State Park.
If you haven’t explored Devil’s Den yet, you should! The state park has a gorgeous waterfall along Devil’s Den Trail along with other beautiful and maintained hikes. And if you’re looking for a picnic with a great view, then the dam and waterfall just past the visitors center is perfect for just that.
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