If your staying in or near Devil's Lake State Park, the most convenient paddling is at your fingertips on Devil's Lake itself. As a no-wake lake closed to gasoline motors, Devil's Lake is a great quiet water paddling opportunity with beautiful natural landscapes. Bring your own boat or rent a canoe, open-deck kayak, row boat, paddle boat, or a stand-up paddle board (SUP) from the North or South Shore Concessions (about $10 - 12/hour). The Wisconsin River, located only 15 minutes south of Devil's Lake, is a favorite summertime paddling destination and attracts thousands of canoeists and kayakers each weekend. The Wisconsin is a fairly "lazy" river in most conditions, making the paddling casual as long as you don't bite off more than you can chew. Shallow waters generally make for fun swimming conditions, though sometime it also means you have to walk your boat through the shallowest sandbar areas. Perhaps the best thing about paddle trips on the Wisconsin River is the free sandbar camping in the middle of the river: find an open sandbar, claim your territory, and enjoy your own small sandy kingdom for the evening.
The Baraboo River is a smaller and less populated stretch of water north of Devil's Lake running roughly west to east and through the town of Baraboo. You can rent canoes at Beyond Boundaries in Wonewoc and paddle a quiet section near there, or use your own canoe and paddle a section closer to Baraboo. Paddlers looking for a more exciting run can try the Class I-II stretch through through Baraboo.
Mirror Lake offers a scenic, tranquil, no-wake paddling opportunity about 20 minutes north of Devil's Lake. Mirror Lake is much smaller than Devil's Lake, but you can connect with Lake Delton to make for a longer experience. Bring your own boat or rent one from Lake Delton Water Sports.
So where's the whitewater rafting? To find good rafting, you have to head north to either the Wolf River or the Peshtigo.