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(NPS Photo)

(Salem) – Due to serious safety concerns, Ozark National Scenic Riverways has closed the staircase leading into Devils Well.

Officials with the park say the wooden steps and handrails leading into the cave, located off Route KK near Akers, have deteriorated to the point that they are unsafe for public use. Efforts are underway to secure the funds necessary to implement repairs and reopen the staircase.

Park officials say the area surrounding Devils Well is still open for visitors to witness the large and impressive sinkhole.

NPS says Devils Well was formed when the roof of a huge cavern, containing an underground lake, collapsed. The result was large sinkhole, with an opening in the bottom that you can view the lake through. The water level is about 100 feet below the platform, and the lake may be as much as 80 feet deep, with 8 to 10 feet fluctuation depending on the weather.

For more information, phone call 573-323-4236 daily or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/ozar.

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