A little “peace” of heaven just off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Pilot's Perch Cabins

Hiking Devil’s Den in Fancy Gap

Devil’s Den Nature Preserve is a nice, short hike about a mile from “downtown” Fancy Gap. It’s a great option if you’re short on time and want to get a quick hike in.

The Hike

The trail descends a half mile down to the cave. It’s a short, moderate hike if you stay on the trail.

Check out this link for a sampling of the flora and other sights you might see on the way down, as well as pictures of the cave.

The Cave

The highlight of the hike is the cave, which is reportedly several hundred feet in depth.


It’s a pretty steep climb and a little treacherous to get down into the cave. You might decide to venture down in or just enjoy the cave-conditioned air coming from within.

Local History

The 280 acre private tract on Harris Mountain figures into local Fancy Gap history. The mountain was named after a Robert S. Harris. His 17th century homestead is planned to be renovated and become a museum of early settler life in the area.

Good Spur Trail, which runs through the property, is one of the original roads down the mountain from Fancy Gap.

Members of the Allen family hid out in Devil’s Den after the 1912 Carroll County Courthouse shootout. Because of this, it became a major tourist destination in the 1920’s.

You’ll also travel on an old route of the Appalachian Trail on the way there.

The Devil’s Den Mascot

Don’t be surprised if you have company on your hike. This feller accompanied us on ours. I think he lives nearby and apparently also likes to hike.

Other Particulars

  • Location: 77 Cemetary Rd, Fancy Gap, VA
  • Directions: In Fancy Gap, turn onto Old Appalachian Trail across from The Gap Deli and follow it for 1.3 miles to Cemetary Rd. Turn left and continue for 0.1 miles to the parking lot on the left.
  • Distance: 1/2 mile out and back for a total of a mile
  • Skill Level: moderate
  • Open May-November from 8:00 AM till 8:00 PM
  • Highlights: cave, local history, views when the leaves are off
  • Web Site
  • Details (inc. map)