What is the history of Devil’s Den state park?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

Devil’s Den State Park holds a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the 1930s. During this time, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a crucial role in the development and construction of various structures within the park. Hundreds of young men, eager to find work during the Great Depression, joined the CCC and contributed their efforts to the creation of Devil’s Den State Park.

From 1933 to 1942, these hardworking individuals dedicated themselves to building rock cabins, a road into the park, a dam that formed the picturesque eight-acre Lake Devil, several bridges, and numerous trails. The CCC’s work was vital in shaping the park into what it is today.

The construction of rock cabins was one of the significant accomplishments of the CCC. These cabins, built using local stone and materials, provided rustic yet sturdy accommodations for visitors to the park. Despite the passage of time, many of these cabins still stand today, serving as a reminder of the CCC’s impressive craftsmanship.

In addition to the cabins, the CCC also constructed a road that provided access to the park. This road not only facilitated transportation for visitors but also allowed for the transportation of materials and equipment necessary for the construction projects. The road served as a gateway to Devil’s Den State Park, making it more accessible to the public.

One of the most notable achievements of the CCC was the construction of a dam, which created Lake Devil. This eight-acre lake, nestled within the park’s beautiful surroundings, added to the park’s natural allure. Visitors can now enjoy fishing, boating, and the serenity of the lake, thanks to the efforts of the CCC.

Several bridges were also built by the CCC, enhancing the park’s infrastructure and improving accessibility to various areas within the park. While some of these bridges were later washed away due to natural events, they were eventually replaced with modern bridges. However, the CCC’s initial bridge constructions played a significant role in connecting different parts of the park and facilitating exploration for visitors.

Lastly, the CCC focused on constructing trails throughout Devil’s Den State Park. These trails provided opportunities for hikers and nature enthusiasts to explore the park’s diverse landscapes, including its unique rock formations, dense forests, and scenic overlooks. Many of these trails still exist today, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the park.

Although the CCC’s work at Devil’s Den State Park spanned only a decade, their contributions have endured the test of time. The cabins, road, dam, bridges, and trails they built continue to be an integral part of the park’s infrastructure and recreational offerings. Devil’s Den State Park stands as a testament to the dedication and craftsmanship of the young men who participated in the CCC program during a challenging period in American history. It serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural landscapes and the historical significance of the CCC’s work.