Devil’s Lake State Park is visited by over 3 million visitors each year and is located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The Park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Visitor Center hours are from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily in the summer and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in other seasons.
Devil’s Lake has over 29 miles of hiking trails for any skill level including amazingly scenic sections of the National Ice Age Trail. the trails vary in condition and difficulty from easy to challenging and are not maintained in the winter months. Steep climbs or descents and stairways are common on Devil’s Lake’s hiking trails. Use caution when on the steep bluffs or near cliffs. Stay well away from cliffs and watch small children closely. Only about 1.5 miles of park trails are considered accessible for people with disabilities. If you’ve not visited the park before, the trails at the top of your list should be the park’s East Bluff Trail & West Bluff Trail. If you find the hikes up the bluffs (About 500ft above the lake) to be too difficult or time consuming, we’d recommend the Tumbled Rocks trail along the water or the Grottos Trail on the park’s South Shore.
When we arrived we headed to the visitor’s center and picked up our 2018 state park pass. This is something we should have done before our first hike to Parfrey’s but we hadn’t know. Picking up for pass cost us $28 and allows us to enter any Wisconsin state park. We figured if we did two more hikes this year it would be worth it, so fingers crossed we can make that happen. After the visitor’s center we weren’t really sure where to go, there are a lot of trails you can head down. First we went to the water’s edge and it was cold. It was four degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit) and the wind off the lake made it worse. We snagged a few pictures and began walking. The first trail we came across happened to be East Bluff Wood Trail and so we headed up it. This trail is the most recommended, though we did not know that at the time, we headed up it and instead of turning back, we continued on until it joined the East Bluff Trail, doing a total of 2.4 miles.
The wood trail was relatively easy, had lots of benches and was along a little creek. The trail ended with a steep hill climb and became the bluff trail which was all rocks, careful footing, and cliff views. The cliff view were definitely my favorite part of the hike. Unlike our last hike I did not feel bad climbing the rocks and exploring.
When we hiked last time I had some lessons that we learned. This hike we did a lot better, first we came prepared for the cost and choose to get the annual park pass. Second I had thicker pants on and was much warmer and didn’t get chilled until we were driving home. But we were still a bit unprepared.
Kevin needs better hiking pants and layering jacket.
Still need a backpack that doesn’t add too much weight but can carry what we need.
Bring kleenex, my nose is constantly running in the woods.
The hike took two hours and was simply beautiful. I think we would definitely go back and try another trail.
I’d love to hear about any state parks you’ve explored! Share below.
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