Devil’s Lake State Park is known for swimming beaches, high cliffs and many unique rock formations but not for its waterfalls. Certainly there are many fascinating waterfalls and cascades within the Baraboo Hills area. There are picturesque and popular falls located within Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area & Pewit’s Nest SNA just to name two nearby locations. That said, Devil’s Lake does have a small number of waterfalls as well.
Black Bear Falls
Black Bear Falls is located in the south-west corner of the park in an area called Pine Hollow. This ephemeral waterfall drops about 20-30ft from the top of a rock cliff down into an overgrown boulder field before joining a stream at the bottom of the valley. Black Bear is actually part of a family of small waterfalls on the same cliff, one north and one just south of this location. You cannot access the falls from the south as that land is now owned by the Ho-Chunk Nation. To get to the falls, you must drive to the end of the winding and unpaved Burma Rd. At the end of Burma Rd., you will hike south-west and then climb down into a steep gorge. This is not for everyone! If you get into trouble out there, you’re on your own!
December Falls is located along the Ice Age / Roznos Meadow Trail on the north side of South Shore Road. This section of trail is challenging and climbs up to meet the Uplands trail on the top of the bluff. The waterfall can be seen from the trail, and if it’s running you’ll hear it as well. This fall is drops about 15 feet before sliding over a weathered stone and slipping below the talus (boulders) and out of sight. The thing I really love about December Falls is that it’s the first easily accessible waterfall we’ve found within the park. Yeah, it’s on a trail that not a lot of people use, but I think once people know it’s there, that trail will become a lot more popular. Especially in the spring and after a few days rain.