Devil’s Den State Park is a state park in Randolph County, Arkansas. The park consists of 1,068 acres (430ha) situated around the St. Francis River and includes two lakes, Lake Frierson and Lake Poinsett. It was formed when the dam across the river was built in 1938, creating a lake which helps protect the area from flooding. The name “Devil’s Den” came about because during construction, the dam site was so remote that workers had to use dynamite to set charges for rock blasting, and the resulting explosions could be heard all over the campground.
Since its inception, the park has grown to more than 1,000 acres (400ha). In 1957, the Department of Parks and Tourism began marketing the region as the “Fisheries-Riverside”, with Devil’s Den being one of the first parcels secured for tourist development. A new marketing campaign was launched in 2017 by the city of Newport, touting the region as “The New Frontier”.
Devil’s Den also features a boat ramp allowing access to the river for boaters. There are 50 sites for RV or tent camping, including 30 full hookups. Modern facilities such as flush toilets and showers are provided throughout the park. Two rent-a-campgrounds are located on opposite sides of Highway246, offering different amenities. On the west side, there are 10 primitive campsites (with no running water), 20 partial hookup sites, and 15 full hookup sites; while on the east side, there are 5 primitive sites, 25 partial hookup sites, and 15 full hookup sites. Camping season begins with trout season in eastern Washington and ends after deer season in western Oklahoma.
Devil’s Den State Park offers three picnic shelters. Seating up to 40 people each, they provide modern comfort food along with cold beverages and snacks. None have electricity or air conditioning, but some do boast fire rings and picnic tables. Boat docks are available at both ends of the park, providing easy access to the river for canoeists. Canoes can also be rented directly outside the park office. Access to the river is not only convenient, it’s safe!
Accredited outfitter Kayak Outlet provides rentals ranging from half day to multi-day trips. These range from simple float down the river to wildcatting rapids, climbing mountains, exploring caves, and generally having an adventure. Half Day – $20 per person Full Day – $40 Per Person Multi-Day – $75 per vehicle Maximum Group Size is 6 People. We recommend you bring your own kayaks since we cannot always find them at the launch site. If you decide to go without a guide, remember that this is not a beginner whitewater rafting trip, and you should prepare to finish the entire journey whether you like it or not.
No refunds will be given if you decide to back out halfway through the trip due to injury or illness. Whitewater Rafting Trips Take place either Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter. Reservations are required. Trip times vary based on the time of year, but most commonly occur Wednesday – Saturday. Group tours may occasionally take place on Sunday, but these are usually announced well in advance.
Cavers interested in joining a group caver expedition must register and pay separate entrance fees. Cave diving is permitted upon arrival, but caving equipment rental and gear storage is not. All cavers must wear protective clothing and follow the cave depth policy of the specific system.
Activities available at the park include:
- paddle boating
- water skiing
- mountain biking
- disc golf
- miniature golf
- horseback riding
Commonly found animals include:
- mink rats
- cottontail rabbits
Occasionally black bears, bobcats, and mountain lions make their way into the park. Be advised, wildlife encounters are possible anywhere in the world, even in urban areas.
Other animals that call this park home include:
Many species of birds are attracted to the open waters of Lake Poinsett, especially during winter months such as:
- Bald eagles
- golden eagles
- red-tailed hawks
- turkey vultures
- bald eagle