Potholes are unique rock formations created when a rock in strong water currents gets caught hung up for some reason and begins to drill down into the rock or earth around it. Over time the pothole expands as other pebbles get caught and spin around in the circular current created within the hole. Depending on a variety of factors, you can get anything from the smooth scoured bowl shapes you’ll find on Devil’s Lake State Park’s Potholes Trail to amazingly circular potholes such as the one pictured, which is at the very top of the East Bluff near Devil’s Doorway.
There are 2 big mysteries regarding Devil’s Lake Potholes; First, if they are created by strong currents or waterfalls, then why are the found at the TOP of the bluffs? The second mystery is, why do people always feel the need to fill them with rocks and garbage?
Well, the answer to the first question is one worth stopping by the Devil’s Lake State Park Nature Center to ask about. When you’re there, ask to see the big, perfectly round, cannonball shaped, rock that was once found in one of the potholes. Oh, and if you want a down and dirty explanation of some of the park’s geology try this.
As for the second mystery, I have a feeling the answer lies somewhere in the “Because it’s there!” category. Which means myself and other volunteers will just keep cleaning them out as necessary.