Monday, October 5, 2015

Devils Lake

View from past the South Shore 
We caught our first glimpse of fall color this first weekend in October at Devil's Lake State Park, just outside of Baraboo, Wisconsin.

It was not our first time, to one of the busiest parks in Wisconsin. Many years ago, more than I'd like to admit, we camped in tents in early June at Devil's Lake to catch the hot air balloons races in the Wisconsin Dells. We happen to be the only ones to drag ourselves up early enough for the dawn ascension.

View on East Bluff over Lake
It was well worth it and glad we did it because they no longer hold the event. The big farm field where it took place has been replaced by humongous indoor water parks and entertainment centers.

The area still holds a special fondness for the hike around the lake. This Driftless area offers some of the most breathtaking vistas, but it has it's price with a hell of climb or descent depending on which way you begin.

Our legs were just shaking by the time we finished the East Bluff Trail and going down the Potholes Trail. Very step with narrow steps. Fortunately we had our walking poles.

We were just happy to be down off the rocks and it didn't matter we still had another mile and a half to go on the Tumbled Rocks Trail.

Peregrine Falcon
We spied a Peregrine Falcon, or maybe he saw us first. The area is an ideal habitat with steep cliffs. As you would guess rock climbers love it here too. As always it's climb at your own risk.

Another attraction for sports lovers is scuba diving. The lake is 50 feet deep making it an ideal place for certification. Maybe they will find my "Bite Me" hat at the bottom of the lake. Lost it when we went out on the electric motor raft.

North Shore Chateau

If you don't have your own water craft they do rent out sailboats, paddle boats, kayaks and canoes. If you forget anything their concessions are rather extensive for a state park. Offering fish fry on Fridays, Ice Cream shop and plenty of souvenir's.

After a nice long hike on our first day we settled into HaRVeys weekend home in the Quartsite Campground. A bit open for our liking but since it was cooler out, the sun was welcome. The park was completely full for the weekend. Our campground looked like a refuge camp. People, tents, camping gear everywhere. Fortunately we could leave when we wanted to, not like a real life event.

Tumbled Rocks Trail

Jambalaya Cast Iron Cooking
We always enjoy a campfire the first night and planned on making a big pot of Jambalaya. If you want the recipe it was very simple and easy to assemble.

Devil's Lake is one of the oldest parks in Wisconsin established in 1911. But it's history as a destination began 45 years earlier. A passenger train which still runs through the park brought many people to several elegant hotels (now gone) which used to cater to wealthy vacationers.

National Park pass holders will be glad to know Devil's Lake honors them for entrance to the park.

We finished up out stay with a wonderful visit with the Quartsite camp hosts. Lynne and De. A couple of great gals who know the meaning of Glamping.

More information in the next blog on our side trips into Baraboo.



  1. It's a beautiful area. That jambalaya looks yummy!

  2. That area is always pretty. The pot of jambalaya looks awesome! You definitely take campfire cooking to some high levels.