Devil’s Well, Ozark National Scenic Riverways

“Don’t drop your keys!”

On a weekend last year in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, we spent a lot of time looking at rivers and creeks and springs.

The multitude of waterways that flow across the face of the earth in this beautiful area, sparkling in the sunlight as they travel along their paths, is pretty astounding and even kind of magical.

There are so many inspiring natural places to see, and most of them involve water in some form. However, we discovered one that was not so sparkling and shiny. This was more of the sort to raise a person’s heart rate and work the lungs to gasping… as though a sinister danger loomed ahead.

As the sky was darkening with clouds, and the forest thickened on our way down the hill, we braved a trip into the hollow to visit the “Devil’s Well”Devil's Well 2014-04-27 11.01.07

Devil’s Well is actually an opening in the ground above a massive underground lake. At some point years ago, part of the roof over the lake collapsed, and on the surface above a sinkhole formed.

Through the opening of this sinkhole about 100 feet down, is the 80 feet deep, 22 million gallons of water that make up this impressive (and a little palm-sweat inducing) look into the inner workings of the earth’s plumbing.

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