What great weather we’ve had recently for winter sports lovers! Here is a bit of video from the park just 2 days ago (Feb 5, 2013) when we got about 2 fresh inches of snow. In fact, as I write this post, another 2-4 inches of snow is accumulating in the Baraboo hills right now! Sweet! Suffice to say, now is the time to get out and ski and snowshoe. If you don’t like the crusty stuff, you may want to get out on the trails soon before it rains on Sunday!
The XC trails around the park have been quickly degrading. They were OK a week ago but each progressive day they’ve been getting worse. In fact I posted on FB a couple days back that they were completely toast… then it snowed.. Now temps are crawling right back up. 51 by Wednesday of next week. OK. May as well start thinking about hiking, biking and paddling. Canoecopia kicks off tonight in Madison. Finally, summer is just around the corner!
Camping season never actually ends at Devil’s Lake State Park. The Quartzite campground on the north shore of the park is open to campers year-around. This weekend there were just a few campers out enjoying January temperatures that hung in the teens and single digits. Winter camping can be a lot of fun, but it does demand a bit more thought. You’ll need the right gear, the right clothing, the right diet and of course you’ll want to stay very busy. It’s a good thing there’s lots to do at the park all winter long including; cross country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, sledding and more. If you’d like to learn more about winter camping in general, Princeton University’s Outdoor Action website has some good info. Click here.
Now, if winter camping is not your thing that’s cool however, one thing you should be doing right now is reserving your campsite for summer. It’s tough getting a campsite at Devil’s Lake State Park any year, but with the centennial celebration it’s only going to get worse. Reserve Now.
We all know the Baraboo hills and especially the rocky bluffs around Devil’s Lake State Park are a hikers paradise. However, once summer passes and the autumn reds and golds give way to the white blanket of winter, most of the hikers disappear. Still, there are a few hearty types who enjoy hiking during the winter months around here. Winter hiking can be a lot of fun and darn good exercise as well. Winter hikers see the park in a way almost no one else does and enjoy a sense of solitude that along with the view, is absolutely breathtaking. The price for such a unique experience is caution and preparation. Winter hikers need to be prepared for conditions and for the possibility of problems before they head out. Once on the bluffs they have to use extreme caution to avoid injury or simply getting lost. You may think you know Devil’s Lake, but winter changes everything!
For folks who have thought of hiking the bluffs in the winter we have a few suggestions for you… Continue reading
Winter arrived at Devil’s Lake State Park over the weekend with 3-4 inches of snow now covering the ground. This morning temperatures were in the single digits as well. It won’t be long now before the XC ski trails will be rockin’ for another season. The last of the gun deer hunting season will be ending December 10th so keep that in mind if you’re still chomping at the bit to get out and hike in the “wilds” off to the east of the lake itself.
The picture above is from the park’s nature center. Learn more about the nature center here. The park has just hired a new full-time naturalist and she plans to have the nature center open for some limited hours beginning in January. I’ll tell you more about that when we get a schedule. There are also plans to meet again after the holidays to really dig into the Centennial planning. The one problem with committees is that it can take a long time to make decisions! Still, in the end there will be lots of fun events in the coming year. Hey, don’t forget to keep sending in your photos for the park’s centennial photo contest! Here’s the photo contest info.
As you probably have seen we have a couple of bits of cool centennial memorabilia available through our online shop which would of course make great Christmas gifts for folks who love the park. Our really big Centennial calendar features 12 wonderful photos from Devil’s Lake State Park. Since I took the photos, I’m happy to tell you they capture some beautiful moments here at Devil’s Lake. We also have a historic feeling postcard that brings back the hey-day of vacation travel across America. The card image is also available on Mugs and more. So check those out as well.