Devil’s Lake Trail Details & Descriptions

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Below are some basic trail descriptions including milage and an estimate of the time needed to hike each trail (one way).

Balanced Rock — A difficult, steep, climbing trail with stone steps on the south face of the East Bluff. Spectacular views of Devil’s Lake with the Balanced Rock formation off to the south of the trail. (.4 mile, approximate hiking time 1 hour)

CCC Trail — A difficult, steep, climbing trail with stone steps on the south face of the East Bluff with many scenic views. (.3 mile, approximate hiking time 1 hour)

Devil’s Doorway — Side trail, off East Bluff Trail with stone steps to the Devil’s Doorway rock formation. (.5 mile, approximate hiking time .25 hour) Access to this trail is from East Bluff, East Bluff Woods, CCC, Potholes and/or Balanced Rock trails.

East Bluff/Ice Age Trail – A medium effort trail that is asphalt with stone steps as it winds back and forth between the edge of the bluff and the adjacent woods. Goes to the top of the East Bluff for many scenic views and drop-offs. Elephant Cave and Elephant Rock are at the north end. (1.7 miles, approximate hiking time 1.25 hours)

East Bluff Woods — An easy-medium, travel and grassy trail with one steep grade on the East Bluff between the North Shore and the Balanced Rock. Entirely in the woods. (1.3 miles, approximate hiking time 1.25 hours)

Grottos — A wide, easy-going, compacted travel path along the base of the south end of the East Bluff connecting Balanced Rock Trail, Potholes Trail, and the CCC Trails. (.7 mile, approximate hiking time 1.25 hours) Accessible from Group Camp parking lot. On a hot summer day, walk down into a grotto for a cool treat!

Group Camp Trail – Easy footpath from the outdoor group camp area to the south shore picnic and beach area.  There is one staircase on this trail.

Uplands Trail Loop — A medium effort hiking trail (challenging bike trail) that is long, winding, and grassy with variable grades through fields, brushy areas, and woods. The trail rises some 325 feet from the Steinke Basin Parking area, follows along the top of the east bluff offering scenic views at the south end, before once again descending into the basin. Some low-lying areas can be wet and muddy depending on season and rainfall.  Hikers and cyclists share this trail and should be attentive, especially around blind corners. (3.8 miles)

Sauk Point Trail — Part of the 1,000 mile Wisconsin Ice Age Trail, this medium-difficult wooded, grassy trail runs between Parfrey’s Glen and the Ice Age Loop. Highlights include spectacular views to the south and the Wisconsin River. (4.5 miles, approximate hiking time 3 hours)

Johnson Moraine Loop — An easy, grassy trail with variable grades crossing County Hwy. DL twice. Named for the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin Glacier which it follows on the north side of County Hwy. DL. There are a number of kettle ponds and marshes in this area. (2.8 miles, approximate hiking time 2 hours)

Parfrey’s Glen Trail — The first 1/3rd of this trail is paved.  The paved section ends by joining a gravel/dirt path that will continue to the mouth of the gorge.  From here, the DNR no longer maintains a trail. Expect to get your feet wet in multiple stream crossings. At the end of the deep gorge it is required to navigate up through boulders to access the small waterfall. The climb through the boulders can be managed by older kids and mobil adults, but does come with some risk. Hiking more than 20 feet from the stream is prohibited. Pets are also prohibited.

Potholes — A very difficult, steep climbing trail with stone steps. Good views of the south areas of the park can be seen.  Trail travels through an amazing split in the rock face about 2/3 the way toward the top. A series of rounded, eroded, depressions or potholes are located near the top. It is wooded near the bottom. (.3 mile, approximate hiking time 2 hours)

Steinke Basin Loop — An easy, level, grassy, wooded trail through an extinct glacial lake bed. Includes bridges and a variety of land covers. (2.5 miles, approximate hiking time 2 hours) Often muddy after periods of rain.

Tumbled Rocks – An easy, level, asphalt walkway winding through quartzite boulders at the base of the West Bluff at lake level. (.8 mile, approximate hiking time .5 hour) 1000 feet of this trail is accessible to wheelchairs from the North Shore picnic area.

West Bluff/Ice Age Trail  – A medium effort trail that is asphalt with stone steps and a steep climb on the south end and an easier climb up the north end. Goes across the bluff top past drop-offs with many scenic views of the lake and park. (1.5 miles, approximate hiking time 1.5 hours)

** The Ice Age National Scenic Trail includes various portions of Devil’s Lake State Park trails totally about 13.7 miles.

Additional information concerning accessibility of trails can be obtained from the park staff.