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Devil’s Den Nature Preserve

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDGIF encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.

Description

Elevation: 2906 ft.

The name “Devil’s Den” refers to a 600-million-year-old cave formation comprised of several layers of rock, which contain many large rooms. Formed by the collision of the Appalachian and Piedmont rock encrustations, this cave is primarily metamorphic schist, granite stone with depositions of mica and pyrites, and even 45 inlays of solid quartz bands.

The Nature Preserve surrounding the cave offers 280 acres of land, which includes mature hardwood forests, cleared plateaus, and shrubby brush. A trail system passes through most of these habitats and leads towards the spectacular cave. Red-eyed vireo, black-throated green and hooded warblers, wood thrush, scarlet tanager and indigo bunting are common throughout the summer.

Located just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this site is probably well traveled by migrating neotropical songbirds in the spring and fall. Other wildlife viewing possibilities include white-tailed deer, eastern box turtle, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and red fox. The cave has yet to be used as a maternity home for bat species, but big brown bat and other species of bats have been seen flying around this area. An anticipated butterfly garden, already in its earlier stages of development, is sure to attract more ruby-throated hummingbirds, as well as butterflies such as great-spangled fritillary, eastern tiger swallowtail and spicebush swallowtail.

Please note that the trail to the den is steep and narrow, but does offer several benches for resting along the way.

Directions

From the previous site on the Blue Ridge Highlands Loop of the VBWT:

From Beaver Dam Creek Trail, return to US 52 and turn left, traveling south for 8.8 miles, crossing under the Blue Ridge Parkway, to Old Appalachian Trail (immediately after the bridge). Turn right on Old Appalachian Trail and follow it for 1.3 miles to Cemetery Rd. Turn left and continue for 0.1 miles to the parking lot on the left.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Carroll County Office of Tourism: 276-730-3100
  • Website
  • Season: spring, summer, and fall
  • Access: Free, Open May-November from 8:00 AM till 8:00 PM

10 Most Recent Bird Observations Added to eBird

  • Mourning Dove
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • American Goldfinch
  • Field Sparrow
  • Eastern Towhee

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms