The 9,217-acre Devil’s Lake State Park, near Baraboo, Wisconsin, is the state’s most popular and most frequented park. The park is known for its trails, come prepared for a hike, to enjoy them. You can also bring your bike, kayak, and fishing gear, swim, boat, float, fly kites, play Frisbee, and watch the birds, including golden eagles. Kids of all ages love to climb on the giant rocks. Bring along a picnic so that you can savor the scenery. Devil’s Lake State Park has something for everyone to enjoy the lively or peaceful atmosphere.
At the park entrance, you can obtain a trail map or booklet to help you select from the various easy, level trails, that let you walk around the lake, or the steeper more challenging trails. The stunning Devil’s Doorway is the quintessential rock formation, one of many that you can enjoy as you follow more than forty miles of trails. Others include Balanced Rock, Elephant Rock, and Prospect Point.
On the East Bluff Trail, the views are truly lovely, and long. In addition, the Balanced Rock Trail has a rock staircase you can climb! You will be glad you have good hiking shoes, as you navigate the steep slope. Remember it is not a race; quite the opposite. Take your time as you walk so that you can appreciate the plants and wildlife as well as the lookouts. Join in an interpretive program; the nature center is open year-round.
The park is beautiful and well maintained. The trails are clearly marked. The park offers a beautiful sandy beach and convenient restrooms. The cafe at the lake has coffee and hot chocolate. The campgrounds are spotless and well kept.
Tip: Devil’s Lake State Park is the most popular (and often crowded) Wisconsin State Park. This means that during peak season you will want to arrive early. Or select a weekday or off-peak season to visit. If you avoid summer weekends, you will avoid most of the crowds. April and May are ideal for exploring the park’s trails.
While at Devil’s Lake State Park, consider also riding the Merrimac Ferry across Lake Wisconsin, seeing the Wisconsin Dells, and the city of Madison with its great museums, and Spring Green, with its Frank Lloyd Wright heritage buildings. All are less than an hour’s drive away.