Tag Archive | Devils Lake State Park

Spring Day Trip to Devil’s Lake State Park

April 30, 2013

This was our first trip up to Devil’s Lake this year. The temperature was a nice warm 84 degrees after a rainy start in the early morning.  We needed lots of energy for hiking so first, we stopped at the Iron Skillet restaurant at the Petrol Stopping Center in Portage. In the entrance they have a cute bear that they dress up for the holidays. He is currently celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Iron Skillet 2Bear 2

Iron Skillet 3

After enjoying their breakfast buffet and getting very full, we arrived at Devil’s Lake.

Devils Lake sign

Our hike began at the East Bluff trailhead, a beautiful butterfly sent us off.


After a steep climb up, we were treated to a breathtaking view of Lake Wisconsin and the woods below.

high view

Lake WI view

forest below

Do you notice the rippled rock?  That was once an ocean bottom that was here long before.  We saw this too at Ableman’s Gorge in Rock Springs.  As a recap, here is Ableman’s rockface.


A few people were up there hiking, we got our picture taken by a friendly hiker. After that, we headed back to ground level on the CCC Trail.  The trail is only .3 miles, but it’s all up/down on stone steps. My legs sore for two days after that 🙂   Beginning our descent, Al stood under a rock face. He is 6’3″ so this gives you an idea of the scale.   Just ahead were rock climbers.

Al and Laurie 500Rock face Al


This view was taken standing while standing on one of the rocks as we headed down.

looking down

We made it down!  Now we head west on the Grottos trail towards the lake. We look up to where we were. We are going through the Oak Forest.

looking upOak Forest sign

Soon we caught sight of the South Shore, then we walked north along the railroad track to head back to the car. Directly across from us are cabins, only 3 three remain. Hearesay is the owners signed 100 year leases to continue living there.

South beachCabins 2Rounding the bend, we catch sight of the lodge and shelter.

Almost back

I catch sight of Scaup ducks swimming in the choppy water.

Scaup ducks 2

We had a great hike, but long.  Total distance 4.6 miles over 4 hours.  Be sure to bring a snack and wear Camelbaks for adequate water.  A great day for a hike!

Hike Around Devil’s Lake

Welcome to Devil’s Lake State Park! We have enjoyed coming here since 1997 when we met and got married here in 1999.

Al and Laurie Kutil vows


On the way there are the Baraboo Narrows, essentially the outside of the “bowl” that Devil’s lake is inside.

Lower Narrows

Lower Narrows_10-20-12

Now we are headed to Devil’s Lake for to hike all the way around.  It’s beautiful any time of year that you go.

Devils Lake sign

Here is a map of the park.

Devil's LakeMap

We are heading the concession area first on the north end of the lake. It was especially beautiful there this October.


Here is a rainbow sailboat in the summer.

Devils Lake sailboat

Devils Lake 10-2-12

Twin maples_10-2-12


Now we begin our hike around the lake beginning on the East Bluff Trail. Plan to take the day to do this. First Al and I pose for a self-portrait.

Al and Laurie10-2-12

East Bluff Trail sign

On the way up we first encounter Elephant Cave and rock.

Elephant Cave 2

Elephant Rock_6-14-12

At the top of the bluff trail was a spectacular view of the whole lake, especially the north shore where the concession building is. This picture was taken in Fall 2010.

Devils Lake Fall 2010

Further down the path near the south end are three interesting natural rock structures. The first one is Devil’s Doorway.

Devils Doorway caption_10-7-11

Another one is Balanced Rock.  That day there were lots of people getting their picture with the rock. We did too with a new friend we met on the trail.

Balanced Rock7-3-10

Also a great view of a rock face.


We went down the CCC Trail back behind the lake. There is an interesting history behind that as well.

CCC Trail Map



CCC statue plaque

Working our way back to the south end of the lake, there is a smaller concession building and another beach. You can see the north end of the lake.

South Concession


Now we will follow the path next to the road on the south end of the lake.


Here is the trail head for the Tumbled Rock Trail, leading us back to the north end of the lake.



We work our way back to our starting point, we pass several cabins that have been there a long time.  Here is one of them.

West Cabin 4-12-11

We pass a couple kayaking and a dad and young daughter fishing.

Kayak and Fishing 9-9-12

Now SOMETIMES, we take the West Bluff Trail that is high like the East Bluff Trail.  They have a lookout station in about the middle of the trail looking towards the East Bluff and north end.



Almost back, we see 3 people in kayaks, each a different color.

3 Kayakers

We make our way back to the north beach area and find someone doing a painting of the lake.


Al and painter 2005

We are back in the parking lot. I hope you enjoyed walking around Devil’s lake.

North Parking lot