Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Devil’s Den, Fancy Gap, Va.


Last weekend, Chris and I decided to walk at Devil’s Den, a nature preserve in Fancy Gap, Va.

Chris had heard that warm weather grasses and flowers had been planted and was attracting a lot of butterflies. With camera in tow, we set out.

We saw black-eyed susans, purple monarda, milkweed, cone flowers and Queen Anne’s lace. Here’s some scenery shots and close-ups. I’ll spare you the many, many landscape shots I took: (All photos by E.A. Seagraves. Do not use without permission.)

My hubby and puppy. Do you see the storm clouds behind them?

Queen Anne’s lace


Black-eyed susans

We saw lots of yellow tiger swallowtails, red-spotted purples, buckeyes and black swallowtails.


Yellow tiger swallowtail on milkweed

Black butterfly on mondara

Yellow tiger swallowtail on a cone flower.

More black butterflies on mondara.

We also saw a couple of indigo buntings. It was an awesome nature viewing day.

We pulled into the preserve right after a storm was going down the mountain. We walked around about an 1 1/2 hours, taking pictures of the meadow and walking down the 0.43 mile trail to the cave, which gives the preserve its name.

The trail to the cave is pretty steep so it’s not for those who do not want to or cannot climb rocks and tree limbs.

The cave

As we walked back up the mountain side from the cave, mist started rising from the valley below. The valley must have gotten a good, cooling rain after the hot weather we’ve had. By the time we left, the preserve was covered in a thick fog.

9 thoughts on “Devil’s Den, Fancy Gap, Va.

  1. I have just heard about this place, made my first trip to visit this past Sunday, 8-22-2010.
    A slight mist was falling and heavier rains was coming , so I didnt get a chance to do any hiking.
    My wife and I are going back in the Fall.

    Where is the trail-head that leads to the cave??


  2. @LeeHi, Lee! Thanks for stopping by the blog and Devil's Den!

    The trail head to the cave is behind the picnic tables, which are on the left just past the cemetery. Hope you visit soon!


  3. My husband wants to do this trail this week with our girls. How kid friendly is the trail and cave area?

  4. @Jymi How old are the girls? I'd say ages 5 and up would be fine.

    The walk down and up to the cave is fairly decent and most people should be able to do it. The climb down to the mouth of the cave is steep, but short.

    I would not go exploring the cave by yourselves. That most likely would not be safe.

    During the preserve's Cave Days, which is usually in May, there are guides that take people to the cave and into it, but that's the only time I'd recommend going.

    Thanks for reading!


  5. Beth, Hi Mike again. These guides you are talking about were taking people around in small creaveses up from the mouth of the cave. They followed me in while I was taking the Cana Resque Squad in so they would know how to retrive someone traped. One of these so called guides has a short site caled crazy cave man in which he names areas there that are miss named like eagle rock. It is on the other side of 52. Not at Deviles Den.He should have taken the time to reshurch the history befor missquoting or miss leading people. We have gone in as far as 152 feet. the actuale cave is eroding fast each year I go in and I think that it is to dangarous to take people in to these areas. By the way your pictures of all the flowers are great. Mike

  6. Beth I wrote you yesterday but it did'nt go through. I have resharshed deviles den and have articles dating back to 1896. If you would like to know more about the cave and history you can contact me @ mike.carter@ncfi.net

  7. @AnonymousThanks for your comments and for stopping by, Mike.

    I've never been in the cave myself and wonder why tours are given at all. It seems way too dangerous, in my opinion.

    Some additional information would be great, if not for me, then the committee that looks after the preserve. One of the women on the board was an heir of the property. So she would love history on this property. I'll send you an email for more info.

  8. Hi Beth, good to here from you. Yes I know Evalan, we have talked for hours on in. she is aware of our findings in the cave and I cant stress enough how dangorus it is in there. I put a ladder where the 100 year old poll ladder was and anckered it to the wall. This area in there I have documentation going back 100 years and it hasnt changed. The bad part is that every where elce it has changed. It is like a large sink hole in the lower part.I will fill you in more when i receive your e-mail. Take care, Mike

  9. Hello, I've been curious about the history of Devil's Den. I go hiking and exploring there, now and then, and i was wondering about it, and there's not much info. there. i would really appreciate a look at the research you found and the articles.