One day isn't enough time to see everything the park has, so plan on it taking 2 or 3 days to really explore the park.
There's no shortage of things to do from paddle boarding, hanging out on the beach, hiking, and just enjoying nature. The view of the lake from any of the trails is beautiful. Keep cash on hand if you visit. The camping store and all restaurants are cash only.
The showers and bathrooms are clean and recently renovated. Weekdays are quiet compared to weekend (Can get a little crowded during peak times). There are three separate campgrounds on the North end of the lake, plus a group Campground on the south end of the lake.
Much to do at Devil's Lake and surrounding area. features multiple campgrounds and multiple areas for swimming. A beach at the North and South of the lake. Both beachs have store, restaurant, and concession as well as rentals for canoe, kayak, paddle boats and boards, etc… The North features a large eat in restaurant compared to the South concession style, and the store is also larger on the North end. A LOT of hiking trails as part of the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail (this trail covers over 1200 miles across the state and the hike up to Balanced Rock is a must!!) crosses through the the park and the State of Wisconsin's only railroad tracks that you can leagaly walk on. The railroad is still active! This park sits close to the city of Baraboo and about 15 miles from the famous Wisconsin Dells/Lake Dalton area of your feeling touristsy, but you will have plenty to do at the park for a full week whether hiking, biking, swimming, or just taking in some of the most beautiful views just lying on the beach. This is Wisconsin's largest and bussiest State Park but for good reason. I am not a crowd person but this place shouldn't be missed. Get there early if you want a spot on the beach during the summer months on weekends!
This park has some fabulous things too offer There is are 2 great (but a bit rocky) swimming beaches, AMAZING hiking with stunning views, the campgrounds are mostly kept up very nicely, and many sights to see around the area. Baraboo is close by for shopping and supplies. I have been going to this park since I was a child. It makes me sad to see it so crowded and such careless people damaging things and leaving their trash, not following rules. Still love the park, just not the crowds…..
Devil’s Lake State Park has 3 public campgrounds to handle over 3 million visitors a year. This means it’s packed. I made reservations to be sure and get a spot. I was surprised to find many non-electric sites empty. Other Dyrt Rangers suggested we come here so I’m following their advice.
The local Ho-Chunk named the lake, Tawacunchukdah, which roughly translates into “Spirit or Holy” Lake. Some translation errors to the early trappers and the name Devil’s Lake caught on (it also markets better with a more sinister name).
There are requirements for various passes to use the state park and trails. Daily passes or annual ones - the choice depends on your usage. 3 nights here means it’s cheaper to get the annual pass.
To get to the non-electric sites, you drive through much of the park. Signs showed the way and it was easy to follow along. We passed the camp store in the middle. We camped at site 401 which is near the bathroom. There are plenty of trees between sites so others are heard more than seen. The site is large enough for my teardrop camper and a screen room (trying to keep the mosquitoes at bay) and still have plenty more room. The showers are clean and refreshing.
The main draw for us is the hiking. The Ice Age trail passes right through this camp loop. We followed it out and back after setting up camp. The ranger said the east and west bluff trails are the most popular. We headed out early on Monday and did an 8 mile loop right from our campsite. We saw beautiful overlooks and only encountered 1 person on the trail. Tuesday found us on the tumbled rocks trail and returning on the west bluff. 3 school buses of children filled the trail. It was still enjoyable with the crowds.
The only negative is that some trails are hard to follow when they use the roads in the park. It’s not often and understandable once you do your first hike. This is a great park that was great to visit midweek instead of on a crowded weekend.
Go here! Its a great all around place!!
Campsites in the Ice Age Campground were decent sized with individual fire pits and picnic tables. The sites had plenty of trees for shade, but were close together. Our site was right across the road from the restrooms on one side, and the water pump on the other side, which meant lots of foot traffic in our area. There are other sites that are a bit more secluded, and offer less noisy conditions.
Note: if you plan to camp here in the summer, reservations are a must. This is a busy park as it has lots to offer in the way of outdoor activities. We tent camped for two nights and three days. We fished on the lake and hiked a portion of the Ice Age Trail, specifically to the Devil's Doorway and Balanced Rock. Highly recommend the hike; it's worth the view at the top. We also utilized the boardwalk along the lake as a spot to stop and bank fish.
The park offers two visitors centers; one on the north shore and one on the south shore. The south shore center was well-maintained and had lots of merchandise and touristy items for sale, along with a small dining area. All in all, it was a scenic park to camp and hike in.
There is so much to do at this park. Being as big as it is though, it can get crowded and loud at times. The sites are pretty spacious in most places. Even in the crowded areas. The lake is really nice. They don't allow motor boats and have rentals for canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. They have numerous trails to hike in to the bluffs. There are stores at both lake shores and they both sell food. It did storm hard while we were there and the shore store had everyone in the store for the storm. The storm came in really fast too. It's a great place to stay for a short while.
This is a great location to relax in the woods or do some hiking, bouldering or rock climbing. The views are also a plus.
Beautiful, but crowded area. Campsites were pretty close to one another, and not many trees to separate the sites. There is a lot of things to do from hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking and the list could go on and on..
I did a 65 mile round trip by bike from Madison up to camp overnight at Devil's Lake. I stayed at the top of a large hill near the camp store. The campground host was very approachable and I enjoyed my time here. Neighbors were a bit loud and the grounds were packed, but I'd return in a heartbeat.