Nestled in the captivating Baraboo area, Devil’s Lake State Park stands as an enchanting gem and a testament to the natural beauty of Wisconsin. With its 360-acre expanse surrounded by majestic 500-foot quartzite bluffs, it’s no surprise that this park has earned the distinction of being Wisconsin’s most popular state park. Whether you seek iconic lake views, thrilling outdoor activities, or a deeper connection with nature, Devil’s Lake offers an unforgettable experience. Let’s delve into the highlights and must-see attractions that make this park a must-visit destination.
When you first arrive at Devil’s Lake State Park, we recommend beginning your adventure at the Nature Center. This informative hub serves as a valuable resource, allowing you to talk to park naturalists. The park representative used a laser pointer to point out some recommended sites and trails on a giant map on the wall helping to plan our visit strategically. Immerse yourself in the displays showcasing the diverse wildlife found within Devil’s Lake, including live reptiles and amphibians. The Nature Center is also known for offering a wide range of programs and events throughout the year, making it an ideal starting point for your exploration.
One trail that should be at the top of your list is the East Bluff Trail. This trail provides a captivating hiking experience, taking you on a 1.6-mile (one-way) journey from the park’s north shore to the breathtaking summit, gradually ascending 500 feet above the lake’s surface. Along the way, you’ll encounter extraordinary rock formations, such as Elephant Cave, Elephant Rock, and the lesser-known Tomahawk Rock. These natural wonders are sure to leave you in awe. When you reach the intersection of the East Bluff Trail and the Balanced Rock Trail, you’ll have the option to return to your starting point or take the East Bluff Woods Trail (EBW) for a different hiking experience through dense forests and along a rocky stream.
One notable highlight of Devil’s Lake State Park is Devil’s Doorway, a striking rock formation resembling a doorway carved by the forces of nature. This unique geological feature provides an excellent opportunity for stunning panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. Ascending to the top of Devil’s Doorway rewards hikers with a picturesque vista that showcases the beauty of Devil’s Lake from a different perspective. Be sure to include this stop on your itinerary for unforgettable photo opportunities and a moment of contemplation in nature’s embrace.
As you explore Devil’s Lake State Park, don’t miss the chance to take in the sweeping views of the lake from various vantage points along the trails. The stunning vistas, whether from the heights of the bluffs or the serene lakeshores, offer a sense of tranquility and showcase the park’s remarkable natural scenery. These scenic overlooks provide a perfect opportunity to pause, breathe in the fresh air, and fully appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin beckons with its mesmerizing natural wonders and awe-inspiring landscapes. From the Nature Center that serves as your gateway to a well-planned adventure to the captivating East Bluff Trail that rewards hikers with magnificent views, every moment spent here is an invitation to immerse yourself in the splendor of nature. Don’t forget to visit Devil’s Doorway, where you can witness the park’s unique geological formations and capture breathtaking panoramas. As you explore the trails and soak in the scenic vistas, let Devil’s Lake State Park ignite your sense of wonder and leave an indelible mark on your family travel memories.
This is a very popular destination, anytime of year. Get out on the trail early to minimize the impacts of crowds. Devil’s Lake is a great destination to spend a few days to explore. With additional time you can bike, kayak, stand-up paddle board, rock climb or hike more. However, don’t let limited time make you miss this wonderful park. A day hike is just fine!
Lastly, check out the Devil’s Lake Visitor Guide before you go.