Nestled in the heart of Sauk County, Wisconsin, lies Devils Lake State Park – a true haven for those seeking solace from the chaos of daily life. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and indulge in a plethora of activities such as fishing, hiking, rock climbing, camping and swimming.
The park boasts an array of hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings. For thrill-seekers, there’s even an opportunity to go cliff jumping! And with crystal-clear waters that beckon you for a refreshing dip, this is one destination that promises to rejuvenate your senses like no other.
I’ve been going to Devil’s Lake for over 30 years. I first started going when I was in high school in my Outdoor Education class. This class started my obsession with the great outdoors. We went to Devils Lake and the surrounding area to go rock climbing, repelling, caving, and tent camping. I absolutely loved it.
I learned so much in this class that I later become a teacher’s assistant while still in High School. This helped me learn more about climbing and camping and helped me introduce and teach others about the beauty of the great outdoors.
My love for the outdoors and Devils Lake continues, as I now go frequently with my wife and kids. I love taking them there and watching them “unplug” and just enjoy the beautiful scenery and surroundings. We hike in the morning and picnic and swim in the afternoon.
It’s the perfect day. So perfect, that I wanted to write about it and share my tips on maximizing and making your day the best it can be at Devils Lake in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
What is Devils Lake Wisconsin?
The popular Devils Lake is located in Baraboo, Wisconsin and is well-known for its’ clear water and lovely scenery. It is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax in nature. There are many different activities to enjoy at the lake, such as fishing, hiking, rock climbing, paddle boarding, swimming and more! Anglers can try their luck at catching one of the many different types of fish that live in the lake, including panfish, northern pike, largemouth bass and walleye.
There are also numerous hiking trails to explore, providing stunning views of the lake and surrounding area. And of course, no visit to Devils Lake would be complete without a refreshing swim in the clear water. Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Devils Lake is the perfect destination for a day trip or longer vacation.
Where is Devils Lake and Baraboo Wisconsin?
Devils Lake is located in Baraboo, Wisconsin in Sauk County. It is a beautiful setting of a lake surrounded by hills that offer awesome hikes and beautiful views of the area. The lake is approximately 360 acres and is one of the cleanest lakes in Wisconsin.
Getting to Devils Lake Wisconsin
Devils Lake is located in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Take I-90 west for about 50 miles. Take exit 92 for WI-33 west toward Reedsburg/Baraboo. Continue on WI-33 west for about 15 miles. Turn left onto County Highway DL (signs for Devil’s Lake State Park). Devil’s Lake State Park will be on the right after about 1 mile.
Take I-94 west for about 90 miles. Take exit 106A to merge onto WI-23 west toward Baraboo/Wisconsin Dells. Continue on WI-23 west for about 12 miles. Turn right onto County Highway DL (signs for Devil’s Lake State Park). Devil’s Lake State Park will be on the right after about 1 mile.
What to Bring for Your Day at Devils Lake?
There are a few things you will want to make sure to bring with you for your day at Devils Lake Wisconsin: sunscreen, hats, insect repellent, water, snacks, lunch, swimsuits and of course your camera for the amazing photos!
The sunscreen is a must as the sun can be intense, especially reflecting off the water. Hats are also a good idea to protect your face and head from the sun. Insect repellent is important as there can be bugs, particularly mosquitoes. You will want to make sure to stay hydrated, so water is a must.
Bringing snacks and lunch will save you money, as there are food vendors at the lake, but a little pricey. And finally, swimsuits are a must as you will want to take a dip in the clear, refreshing water after your hike!
What to Do at Devils Lake?
Hiking Trails at Devils Lake
The hiking trails at Devils Lake are some of the most scenic in the area. There are over 29 miles of hiking to choose from ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous. Some of the more popular trails are: Balanced Rock Trail, Devil’s Doorway Trail, East Bluff Trail, and Grottos Trail.
The East Bluff Trail is our favorite. This will give you the most “bang for your buck” if you are just in for a day. You get the most spectacular views from this hike. The East Bluff Trail is a strenuous 3-mile hike that takes you to the top of the East Bluff for amazing views of the lake and surrounding area.
- The Devil’s Doorway Trail is a moderate 1.5-mile trail that takes you to an arch rock formation.
- The Balanced Rock Trail is an easy .3-mile loop that takes you to the famous Balanced Rock.
- The Devils Door is an arch rock formation located on the Devil’s Doorway Trail at Devils Lake. It is a popular photo spot for visitors to the lake.
- The Grottos Trail at Devils Lake Wisconsin is a great place to hike. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and takes you through a series of caves and grottos.
Summer time hikes are great, but if you can make it in the fall, you will get to experience all the wonderful fall colors on your hike! It is one of my favorites!
Swimming at Devils Lake
One of the best things about Devils Lake is the clear water, which is perfect for a refreshing swim. There are a couple beaches to choose from, so whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a more lively area with plenty of people, you’ll find what you’re looking for. There is also a roped-off swimming area near the beach.
Devils Lake is a popular spot for fishing, and there are many different types of fish to be found in the lake, including largemouth bass, panfish, walleye and more. Make sure to get your fishing license from the Wisconsin department of Natural resources.
Devils Lake is a great place to go rock climbing. The cliffs are big and imposing, and there are plenty of routes to choose from. There are plenty Devils lake climbing guides so I would suggest getting one to review. The rock quality is good, and there are plenty of holds for both beginners and experienced climbers. The scenery is stunning, and the lake provides a beautiful backdrop for a day of climbing.
Kayaking, Canoe and Paddle boarding
There are many different companies that offer rentals, so you can easily find a place to rent a kayak or paddle board. They also do rentals right there in the North Shore Area. And with the clear water, you’ll be able to see all the fish and wildlife that call Devils Lake home.
What is the Parking Like at Devils Lake State Park?
The parking at Devils Lake is pretty good. There are two main parking lots, the North Shore and South Shore lots.
The north shore lot is located near where more of the rentals are. The North Shore lot can fill up fast, and usually does by noon on the weekends. If that happens, there is additional parking at the top entrance access, you just need to walk further down to the main area.
The south shore lot is large, and when it fills people park all down the side of the road. Both the North and South Shore offer grills and picnic tables as well. July and August can get very busy and the parking will fill up fast on the weekends. You can get your vehicle admission sticker there or purchase it online as well as get an annual pass at https://www.devilslakewisconsin.com/park-stickers-fees/
What is the Nature Center at Devil’s Lake State Park?
The nature center at Devils Lake State Park is a great place to learn about the plants and animals that call the park home. The nature center has many different exhibits, and there are also staff members available to answer any questions you may have. There is also a nature trail that leads from the nature center to the beach, so you can see all the plants and animals that live in the park up close.
Encouraging Others to Visit Devils Lake Wisconsin.
Devils Lake is a beautiful spot that offers plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. There are hiking trails to explore, the water is perfect for swimming, and the scenery is simply breathtaking with some wonderful bird watching. The lake is a great place to spend a day or longer, so encourage your friends and family to visit Devils Lake and experience all that it has to offer.
Final Thoughts on Devils Lake Wisconsin
Devils Lake is a great place to spend a day, whether you are looking to hike, swim, climb, fish, paddle board, or just explore. There is something for everyone at this beautiful Wisconsin State Park. I strongly encourage you to make the trip and explore everything it has to offer. It has been a regular for more for over 30 years and I don’t get sick of it!
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Devils Lake for a fun-filled day or weekend of adventure.
For more info, visit https://www.devilslakewisconsin.com