Chuck’s Blog — “Trails Less Traveled: Moonshiners Cave and Falls”
- Posted by
- Chuck Dovish
This is one of those “trails less traveled” in which even if you make the hike on a weekend, most likely you won’t see another person. That’s because you have to find the trailhead first, since there aren’t any signs or markings or anything. But it’s really not all that difficult!
The trailhead to Moonshiners Cave/Falls is located near the entrance sign to Devils Den State Park, south of Fayetteville. After taking the Winslow exit, go west of Interstate 49 and, when you come to the entrance sign, look for a little parking area across the road, to the left. From there, just walk about 100 yards or so until you spot a wide opening in the tree line off to the left, which is the trailhead.
Most of the trail, which is slightly more than half a mile, looks like a dry creek bed, so it’s fairly easy to follow. I’d recommend sturdy hiking shoes or boots since it is kind of rocky.
I would also recommend making the hike after a good rainfall, when all three falls would be flowing at their best. Usually, during summer, they’re bone dry, unfortunately.
Moonshiners Cave is actually a bluff shelter that started out as a pioneer family root cellar for storing canned vegetables. Apparently in 1905 (the year engraved in the stone), a rock wall was built to enclose the opening, turning it into a “cellar.” The old homestead was located above the bluff. Later, as legend would have it, bootleggers turned the shelter into something quite different than storage for canned veggies. Thus, the name: “Moonshiners Cave.” The three waterfalls are an added attraction.
If you feel more comfortable having a guide for the hike, in most cases, a park interpreter can be arranged through Devils Den State Park.
Experience “Moonshiners Cave and Falls” when the story posts Wednesday, May 13, at 2 p.m. on Arkansas PBS and a href=http://www.facebook.com/ExploringArkansas>“Exploring Arkansas” social media outlets, including Facebook and YouTube, and on the Engage Arkansas PBS App, available for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.
Want to watch on a bigger screen? Tune in to AR PBS-1 in primetime on Thursday evenings after “A Place to Call Home” to see the full segment on broadcast!
Also, if you’re planning on heading out see Moonshiners Cave and Falls for yourself, don’t miss a chance to enter to win an Arkansas PBS prize pack! From now to Aug. 12, whenever you watch a segment and, then, share a photo on the Engage Arkansas PBS app, you’ll be entered to in a random drawing for an exciting collection of Arkansas PBS and “Exploring Arkansas” swag and/or experiences. Check out details and rules at myarkansaspbs.org/exploringarkansas.