Devil's Lake Loop

 5 votes
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Featured Hike
Trail

6.2 Miles 9.9 Kilometers


90%

Singletrack

1,096' 334 m

Ascent

-1,094' -334 m

Descent

1,485' 453 m

High

963' 294 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

28%

Max Grade (15°)

Unknown

Update

A difficult loop with terrain challenges and views that reward the effort.

Chris Rozoff

Overview

The viewpoints and the steep terrain make for quality over quantity in terms of distance.
Features: Birding — Cave — Fall Colors — Lake — Swimming — Views — Wildlife

Need To Know

Make sure you have a WI State Park sticker or pay a day use fee to use this parking lot/state park trails.

There are also portions of this loop where the park trails overlap with the much longer Ice Age Trail: Devil's Lake Segment. Signs denote the park name, and the yellow blazes highlight the portions that are the Ice Age Trail. Each trail is well marked, so it is difficult to get lost.

Description

From the Devil's Lake South Parking Lot, the route starts out on pavement and is deceptively flat and easy. The trail then travels along the lake on a well-worn path, before visitors will need to follow alongside the state park road for a short while.

However, before long, you are headed up the West Bluff Trail (which overlaps part of the Ice Age Trail. This trail is signed with the park name, but also the yellow blazes of the Ice Age Trail). The trail is a bit peculiar. While it's singletrack, it's paved, but it is just as good as any solid dirt path. This West Bluff climb begins as a steep and seemingly relentless one. But by the time you're almost out of breath, you're looking over Devil's Lake with a rewarding view. The trail then continues along the West Bluff with more views, before a relatively steep descent into the northern side of the park.

Once again, you'll end up near a parking lot with plenty of state park buildings/bathrooms/picnic/beach areas. Continue east toward the East Bluff Trail, which is overlapped by the Ice Age Trail: Devil's Lake Segment as well. This East Bluff Trail starts out on a relatively wide gravel path, but the East Bluff Trail eventually veers hard to the right in a fork in the trail. Once again, this section offers some fun hiking, as the climb is long and sometimes steep. And again, you get great lake views, along with some cool rock formations, once you get to the top. Continue forward and eventually veer left once you get to the south region of Devil's Lake.

Take the Ice Age Trail east along the East Bluff (with the dry basin to your right). You are looking for the CCC Trail to descend. Once you find CCC, head south. This trail is the most technical part of the route, where some scrambling is required. The boulder field here resembles a lot of the boulder fields you see out in the Rocky Mountains.

Once you get to the bottom, continue west along the Grottos Trail, across some railroad tracks and back to your starting point. From there, if you want more mileage, do the loop in reverse or follow it again in the same direction. Whether it's one loop or more, you'll definitely get your money's worth and get those calves and hamstrings burning!

Contacts

Land Manager: Wisconsin State Parks

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4.2 from 5 votes


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Check-Ins

Oct 23, 2016
Declan Smith
Oct 1, 2016
Nick Ferry
it was a cold wet day. We took the bluff trail on the west bluff side. 6.2mi
Aug 21, 2016
Luke Laws
Took ice age trail shortcut back, challenging descent! — 4h 08m
Aug 16, 2016
David González
1.2mi — 1h 15m
Aug 15, 2016
Andy Markevicus
Aug 5, 2016
Bailey Wildon
Jun 12, 2016
Mark Wyse
Jul 11, 2015
Jocelyn Nelson
2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#1079

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
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#1,079

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679 Since Dec 18, 2015
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nice submission. added to my "to do" Apr 28, 2016


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