Explore the most popular lake trails near Baraboo with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
7 days ago

loved this place! east bluff trail was great and the Devils Doorway was awesome!

hiking
12 days ago

Based on other reviews, I expected this hike to be much easier. Although it wasn’t what I would call hard, but it is not for everyone. It had rained overnight so the rocks were slick during our ascent and multiple times I had to use my hands for extra assurance to not slip. There were signs on the trail, but twice they were a bit confusing to me and I ended up having to backtrack after realizing I was not on the correct trail. Part of my confusion was because the all trails map is not accurate - so beware! I wish I had tracked the mileage, because it felt longer than 1.9 miles. Overall I thought it was a great hike for the Midwest and would recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike esp for a getaway from Chicago that isn’t too far. Go early to truly enjoy.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved the path this trail took around the lake. The viewpoints were beautiful. The cool air was refreshing. The trail was beautiful.
Unfortunately, the path is being paved over so it can be hard on the knees and ankles. Also, the trail does not allow overnight campers so allow time and energy to do it in one day. Also there were $41 in camp and park entrance fees. In addition to all that, the trail and campsite were crowded with loud families. I expected this loop to feel more like a backpacking trip and less like a family vacation tourist trap.

I suppose I should have researched more.

Very nice fun family trail. Beautiful views of the lake.

Great fun trail! Definitely coming back.

Had fun on this hike. It was challenging at some points. A lot of elevation changes at the first part. Be careful of slippery rocks on decents. Very nice fews off of the bluffs overlooking the lake and surrounding mountains.

hiking
2 months ago

I have done this hike twice and both times it was amazing! The rocky steps on the East Bluff are a little tricky to go up, but it is definitely doable for the average person. I can’t wait to come back!

hiking
2 months ago

I found that the mileage was slightly off. Don’t like the cracked and bubbled asphalt on West Bluff because you have to watch every step. Watch the slick quartz on the Balanced Rock trail but it is gorgeous!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice steep hike, good for some off trail climbing. Good challenge for all ages and dogs, beautiful views!

Easy to hike with a dog or the whole family, part of the trail is a bit tricky to identify. Great hike beautiful views

Nice hike and a great view! Well worth it.

Great hike for the entire family.

a real nice hike, lots of good viewpoints overlooking the lake. and at both ends if your feet get tired you can cool them off in the lake.

It was a nice morning for a hike.

inaccurate title so giving it 3 star. Map depicts a loop combining *part* of east bluff trail and east bluff WOODS trail. check park map carefully. Be prepared, this area has paved areas and strenuous rock stair ascents.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome! Super steep start but worth the effort. Amazing views. We did tumbling rocks on the way back. Neat as well.

During the summer weekends there are so many people hiking up and down this much-trafficked trail. However, it’s definitely a must see. And, if you’re into climbing, there are so many places to set-up along the trail!

Personally, I think the climbing is much better than the hiking, but if you prefer hiking, the trails are very well maintained, though the lower trails at the base of the climbing routes can be a little tricky to navigate with rocks. We take our dog (a small puggle) and she loves to clamber over the trails.

Awesome hike :)

This hike is always well-trafficked (with the exception of the winter months) and has some of the best hiking views in Wisconsin. The climb up can be some serious cardio but things stay pretty flat once you’ve reached the top of the bluffs until you head back down

hiking
3 months ago

Devil’s Doorway is definitely one of the busiest spots along the Devil’s Lake trails but is a must-see if you’re visiting the park for the first time

hiking
4 months ago

Gorgeous views! Would recommend wearing boots. Even got to swim in the lake. The water is chilly but feels great after a hike on a summer day! Water seems clean, lake is sandy.

Great hike with the family. Even on an extremely hot day, the views were worth the effort.

hiking
5 months ago

Gorgeous view, great photo op, and fun!

hiking
5 months ago

Fun and gorgeous. Lots of bluffs to have a great view of the lake from. Dog friendly if on a leash. Nice beach. Seen quite a few people with kayak’s and paddle boards, this is a no wake boating allowed. Trails are awesome. Their are few rock structures like “devils doorway” that are great photo ops. Camping is available. Highly recommend!!

Devils Lake is the ‘go to’ hike anytime there is time to make the drive from Madison. Having done the hikes many times, a couple recommendations:

1) If coming into the park from Hwy 12, a shortcut is to take ski hi rd and park at the boat launch lot near the south shore. This gives access to either the west bluffs right across the lot or a short stroll along the lake boardwalk to the south shore/east bluffs. There is also a dog play area at the boat launch if your pooch likes to swim (just pay attention and be courteous of boaters)

2) I oftentimes hike up the west bluff trail to the north shore, then take the lakeside path back, for a quick loop that takes a little under 1 1/2 hrs at a moderate pace for those hiking without young kids (depending on your pace and if you have kids it may take up to 2 1/2 -3). The elevation gain on each bluff is around 450 ft. I’m in good shape and a strong hiker so this doesn’t seem like much; that said the gains are moderate/steep for those unaccustomed, but then they do flatten out on the bluffs after the initial ascent. There are no 1500 foot elevation gains at devils lake contrary to another review below.

3) If you take the longer loop from the west, finding the east bluff trailhead can be a bit of a challenge at first, and you may inadvertently end up on the railroad tracks like Lisa Reilly did in her review below. The tracks can be walked but are NOT part of the trail system around the lake. From the north shore boat launch, cut across the tracks on the walking path, continue up a grassy area in front of the parking lot, and turn LEFT. You may see a bathroom facility, keep left until you see the trailhead sign another couple hundred yards. Lisa (and anyone else that isn’t aware) I hope you give the loop another try and locate the east bluff trail - it is even better (but longer) than the west bluff IMO.

4) Likewise, if you start on the east bluffs, you may inadvertently end up on the lakeside path (which is nice but has no climb). As you make your way toward the west bluffs on the walking path, after the last bathroom facility before the lakeside path starts, head right off the path through the picnic area. You should see the west bluff trail at the end of the picnic area.

5) If you go on weekends, and want to bring your dog and/or beat crowds, start early (8am at latest). My lab can handle the trails well but I recognize having an 85 lb beast barreling down (or up!) balanced rock is not something other people want to deal with especially when the trail is crowded. If your dog isn’t used to steep trails with lots of rocks you may want to consider another option.

Try the whole loop going east to west (from the south shore) or west to east (if starting from north shore) if you have time (I prefer going up balanced rock over down). You wont find a better short 5 mile hike with real (albeit short) climbs anywhere else the area.

very quick, dramatic view

It's a great trail.
Posting are accurate on markers.

Take it easy going up if you arent used to walking up hills. The grade is gradual. The scenery is well worth it! If you go all the way around it does get rocky and close to the edge at some areas

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