Moonshiners Cave and Falls: An Arkansas Hidden Gem

Moonshiners Cave and Falls, tucked away in the verdant Ozark National Forest in Devil’s Den State Park, offers adventurers a unique glimpse into Arkansas’s natural beauty and its intriguing local history.

Located in the Ozarks’ Boston Mountain Range, this hidden gem is a favorite among hikers and history enthusiasts, providing a fascinating blend of scenic vistas, captivating geology, and local lore.

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Location and Access

The Moonshiner Cave and Waterfall can be found in the vicinity of Cass, Arkansas, a small community within the Ozark National Forest.

To reach the trailhead, travelers typically take Highway 23, also known as the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, a stunning drive through the Ozarks that itself is worth the trip.

From there, the trailhead to the cave and waterfall is accessible by a short drive along forest roads, adding a touch of adventure even before the hike begins.

The Hike

The hike to Moonshiner Cave and Waterfall is approximately 1.5 miles round trip, making it a manageable excursion for most outdoor enthusiasts.

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The trail is moderately easy, with a gentle incline through lush forested areas, offering plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the region’s diverse flora and fauna.

As you hike through the Ozark National Forest, you’ll encounter towering trees, vibrant wildflowers, and the gentle sounds of nature.

The trail eventually leads to the cave entrance, where you can explore its fascinating interior. It’s recommended to bring a flashlight or headlamp, as the cave can be quite dark inside.

The cave has a unique charm, with its cool air and rugged rock formations, providing a sense of discovery and adventure.

The Waterfall

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The waterfall is the other major highlight of this hike. Located near the cave entrance, the waterfall cascades over a rocky ledge, creating a tranquil and picturesque scene.

The sound of rushing water, combined with the lush greenery surrounding the area, makes it a perfect spot for relaxation and photography.

During wetter months, the waterfall can be especially impressive, adding to the allure of the hike.

Local History and Lore

The name “Moonshiner Cave” hints at the area’s storied past. In the early 20th century, this region was known for its moonshining activities.

The cave was used as a hideout and production site by local moonshiners, who would distill and store their illegal alcohol within its dark confines.

This history adds a layer of intrigue to the cave, allowing visitors to imagine what life might have been like for those who lived and worked in the area during Prohibition.

Arkansas’s Ozarks have a rich history of self-reliance and resilience, with moonshining being a part of that tradition.

The rugged terrain and remote locations provided ideal conditions for illicit activities, and the Moonshiner Cave is a testament to that era.

Exploring the cave and surrounding area offers a unique perspective on this aspect of local history.

A Whole Lot More To Explore

While visiting the Moonshiner Cave and Waterfall, there’s much more to explore in the Ozark National Forest.

The forest is home to a variety of hiking trails, scenic drives, and recreational opportunities.

You can hike the nearby Ozark Highlands Trail for more challenging routes, or visit other picturesque spots like Hawksbill Crag and Whitaker Point.

Fishing and camping are popular activities in the area, with numerous streams and campsites throughout the forest.

Whether you’re interested in a day hike or a longer camping trip, the Ozark National Forest has something for everyone.

In summary, the Moonshiner Cave and Waterfall in Arkansas offers a unique combination of natural beauty and local history.

With its easy-access hike, stunning waterfall, and intriguing cave, it’s a destination that should be on every adventurer’s list when exploring the Ozarks.