Right behind the grandstands of a local high school football field and perched on the edge of a small cliff, is a location that once instilled fear into the hearts of early colonial settlers.
The Devil’s Den is the name of a small cave located within the town of Ashland. It is a talus cave that was created when irregularly shaped rocks were piled atop one another. When Puritan settlers first arrived in New England, the fear of the devil lurking within the dark corners of nature in this new and unfamiliar land was strong.
Although no evidence of the devil occupying the area was found, archaeologists did find materials indicating that the cave was used by Native Americans. The cave was a very prominent feature along the Old Mendon Road centuries ago, which connected the towns of Framingham and Mendon.
The cave became a point of contention around 10 years ago when the Ashland High School was looking to expand its athletic fields and the cave was scheduled to be demolished. Fortunately, the local historical society was able to have the cave preserved, although the old trails sadly were not and much of the surrounding area has been significantly altered.
Know Before You Go
The easiest way to find the cave is by parking at the back of Ashland High School and taking Harry Henchy Path where it can be easily seen from the grandstands.
There are also several trails leading up the hill towards the entrance as well. Because it's located very close to school grounds, the best time to visit would probably be during the weekends and other times when there aren't many people in the area.