Between the Park and nearby locales, there are MANY options for sport, leisure, and culture around Devils Lake. In fact, Trip Advisor named Wisconsin Dells (only 30 minutes north) the Best Destination in the U.S. for Families, because there is so much to do around here.
Hiking trails are easily Devils Lake's greatest attraction. Featuring over 41 miles of trails traversing high bluffs, lakeside talus slopes, shady hardwood forests, and wide-open prairie, Devils Lake hiking has something for everyone.
The most dramatic hikes at Devils Lake, the West Bluff and East Bluff trails, flank either side of the Lake and can be hiked as a large loop. Climbing the bluff trails requires effort, but the rewards (gorgeous views of Devils Lake and the Baraboo Hills) are more than worthy. Those who prefer to tour the Lake on level ground can do so by exploring the Tumbled Rocks Trail and/or the sidewalk along South Shore Road. And for those who want to get away from the crowds, less popular trails like Steinke Basin, Roznos Meadow, and the Sauk Point Trail offer opportunities to escape and explore quieter realms.
Looking for detailed information and descriptions of the trails? Browse our guide to Devils Lake hiking trails below!
Mountain Biking & Road Biking
Both mountain bikers and road cyclists can find appealing routes in and around Devil’s Lake. The Upland Trail loop provides about 8 miles of beginner-level, double-track mountain biking trail. The trail is not technical, but involves some steep climbs and rugged double-track through a mostly forested landscape. The Upland Trail is open to hikers and their pets as well, so remember you are sharing the trails with slower users and take care to yield right of way. A State Trail pass is required for bikers 16 years and older.
While there are no dedicated road cycling trails in the Park, slow speed limits and rolling terrain makes for great cycling routes. Outside Park boundaries, cyclists can find a wide network of quiet country roads to explore. Look here for route ideas.
Visit Devils Lake on a summer’s day, and you’re likely to see all sorts of craft on the water. Sailboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats, and small fishing boats all enjoy the Lake. Gasoline motors are restricted from Devil’s Lake (electric trolling motors are allowed), so boats move at a human pace, with talk and laughter carrying over the water instead of engine noise. Boat ramps on both the North and South Shores offer easy lake access, with ample parking nearby.
If you’d like to get on the Lake but don’t have a boat, you can rent a rowboat, aluminum canoe, or sit-on-top kayak from concessionaires at the North or South Shores. Prices generally range around $10–12/hour, with an additional deposit. For specific details, visit the Devils Lake Concession Company website or call the Chateau directly at (608) 356-3381.
Remember, life preservers are required for all Wisconsin watercraft. Be safe out there.
Fishing, by boat or by foot, is highly accessible at Devil’s Lake. 360 acres of spring-fed lake surface provide plenty of territory for anglers to explore in search of bass, Northern pike, trout, walleye, and various panfish. Devil’s Lake is open from 6 AM to 11 PM daily, so come early and stay late. In fact, the only Park users allowed to stay past 11 PM outside the campgrounds is fishermen: if you stay on the water all night long, you don't have to leave.
All fishing at Devil’s Lake requires a license, so remember to order your Resident or Non-Resident license. For specific, insider information on fish, bait, and fishing locations at Devil's Lake, read this State Journal article by Gary Enberg.
Swimming & Sunbathing
It's no secret that people LOVE to swim at Devils Lake. Both the North and South Shores at Devil’s Lake feature clean, attractive beaches for swimming, playing, and relaxing. Picnic tables and grills are available immediately behind both beach areas, along with bathrooms, showers, and snack facilities. At the North Shore, the iconic Chateau offers more extensive food options, as well as some souvenirs and basic camping supplies.