Devil’s Lake State Park is Wisconsin’s largest state park and one of the most visited State Parks in the Midwest. This stunning park boasts 500 ft. Quartzite Bluffs that overlook a sparkling 360-Acre Lake created during the Ice Age.
You’ll find tons of fun things to do in Devil’s Lake WI. Visitors can hike the bluffs & paths up to the famous Devil’s Doorway. Then take a swim at one of the two beautiful beaches. Enjoy a family picnic or exploring the small animals in the Nature Center.
Follow along for everything you need to know before you go to Devil’s Lake. Get directions, camping info, the food at Devils Lake and what to do in the area with kids. It’s a perfect day trip especially if you are staying in nearby Wisconsin Dells.
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Devil’s Lake State Park WI – Best Hikes & Tips for Families
Devil’s Lake Hours, Address & Directions
Devils Lake is open year-round from 6 am – 11 pm
Address & Directions
Devil’s Lake State Park is located in south-central Wisconsin and is only 3 miles from Baraboo & Wisconsin Dells. You will find brown and white signs pointing you to the State Park as you drive. Most routes will take you on I 90/94 and then exit to the local roads to arrive at Devil’s Lake.
The park gets very crowded in the summer months so I would suggest getting there early to grab a parking spot in one of the two lots.
Address for GPS: S5975 Park Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
State Park Fees
All cars into the Wisconsin State Parks need to pay a vehicle sticker fee. Make sure to purchase your sticker when you arrive at the park and place it on your window before leaving your car.
A daily sticker ranges from $8 to $11. The fee is lower if you are a Wisconsin resident. If you plan to go more than once or explore other Wisconsin State Parks consider getting the yearly sticker. Find out more about the Sticker Fees here.
Park Map & Trail Map
Figure out where you are going before you arrive at the park with this Park Map and Trail Map. It helps guide us when we get to the park especially in the offseason when there is less staff to help you.
Devil’s Lake Hiking
Devil’s Lake boasts 29 miles of hiking trails made up of varying degrees of difficulty. Here are a few of our favorite hikes.
East Bluff Trail
The East Bluff Trail starts at the North Shore Trailhead with an asphalt path that turns into stone steps. You will find several beautiful overlooks as you climb up to the top of the 500 ft Bluffs. If you do this whole trail it can take you up to 3.5 hours to hike. But you can turn around at any time or take different paths to shorten the distance.
If your looking for about an hour hike take the path to the first overlook to see Elephant Cave by Elephant Rock. It still has great views and a good workout but would be easier with kids.
To get to balanced rock you can continue on the East Bluff trail south or start at the South Shore for a shorter hike. To get to it from the South Shore park in the lot and take the paved sidewalk from the parking lot north. Then cross over the railroad tracks and follow signs to Balanced Rock.
This is a harder climb up steep stone stairs but it was doable for our kids’ ages 8 & 10. There are no handrails but you can take breaks on your hike up. Once at the top you will be on flat land. Visitors are rewarded with outstanding views of the lake and state park.
Devil’s Doorway is the iconic site of Devil’s Lake State Park. The massive stones have formed into what looks like a huge doorway with views of the lake.
To get to it follow the signs once at the top of the balanced rock trails. It will be a flat path for a while then you will head down a stone path to the Doorway. It’s pretty cool to see and if you make it all the way up to Balanced rock you might as well hike a little longer to this cool rock formation.
Tip: I would not do these hikes on rainy or snowy days as the rocks you need to climb will be slippery.
Tumble Rock Path
Looking for an easier path to take? The Tumble Rock Path is a paved 1.3-mile trail along the lake. It would take you about 2 hours round trip to hike it from north to south.
As you hike you can get great views of the lake and be up-close to the outcroppings of quartzite boulders. Have your kids search to see if they can find any “ripples” left in the boulders from when they were just sand at the bottom of a shallow sea.
Although the path is paved it is not always sooth and would be hard for wheelchairs and some strollers.
Don’t forget to pack water bottles and snacks for your hike.
Below find some of our favorite hiking gear. I love the fanny pack to hold our water, phone, and snacks. No more back pain from carrying a big backpack full of water.
Devil’s Lake Beaches & Swimming
Yes, you can swim and play in the sand at the beach while visiting Devil’s Lake. The two beach areas are located at the South Shore and North Shore visitor center areas.
Both locations have bathrooms and changing areas for swimmers. You can also rent kayaks and small boats to take out onto the lake. Make sure to bring your own chairs and sand toys.
Make your day at the beach less stressful with these 20 Hacks to Survive a Day at the Beach with Kids.
They do not have beach chairs to rent so make sure to bring your own chairs, beach blankets, sand toys, and sun umbrellas to enjoy the day. Here are a few of our favorite things to bring to the beach.
Concessions & Facilities at Devil’s Lake
There are three concession areas at Devil’s Lake. You’ll find them at the North & South Shore plus a Camp Store with food at the lower Ice Age Campground.
After labor day the South Shore concession is closed but offers food and ice cream in season. The historic North Shore Chateau is open all year and has both food and a store to shop. ‘
Another option is to bring your own food. Visitors will find grills and picnic tables on both the North and South Shore. There are also lots of places to throw down your blanket for a picnic along the lake with beautiful views too.
The north end of the lake is referred to as the North Shore and has the most amenities, a beach area and a large parking lot. Here you’ll find the North Shore Chateau Restaurant, shop and ice cream with seating that overlooks the lake. Bathrooms and changing facilities can also be found here.
In summer months there are outside snack areas and seating close to the beach entrance. Plus Kayak and boat rentals.
This area has a more open space feel to it overlooking the long beach area. Spread around the grass area you will find grills, benches and picnic tables. There is also a playground area for the kids.
In the summer months, you can also buy food, drinks & ice cream. Plus rent kayaks for the lake.
There are bathroom facilities, changing rooms and a large parking lot.
Tip: You can find hiking trails from both the North and South sides of the lakeshore.
Give the kids a break from hiking by visiting the Nature Center located near the North Shore entrance. This facility offers hands-on activities for the kids and teaches families about the history of the state park. Learn how the glaciers affected this area during the ice age.
Kids will enjoy looking at small animals like fish, turtles, and snakes. Downstairs kids will find a play area best suited to younger children. It’s also a great place to ask any questions you may have about Devil’s Lake.
The Nature Center is open 9am-4 pm daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. From Labor Day to Columbus Day it is only open Thursday – Sunday. The rest of the year it may be open in the winter on weekends but you will have to check.
Camping at Devil’s Lake
Camping is extremely popular at Devil’s Lake. There are three campgrounds with a total of 423 family campsites. In season these sites book up quickly so I suggest reserving your site in advance. There are only 10 first come first serve reservation sites available.
If the campsites fill up there are a few local campsites located close by you might like. There is even one with a big lake filled with blow-up slides for the kids. Check here to get more campsite locations.
There is also a really nice KOA about 25 minutes away in the Dells. The KOA Wisconsin Dells is only 1 mile from downtown and is right in the middle of everything you’d want to see. They have campgrounds, RV sites, and cabins.
Mirror Lake State Park
Located only minutes from Devil’s Lake State Park is Mirror Lake State Park. It’s a smaller park but offers tons of fun family activities. Visitors will enjoy the pretty hikes, beach area, and camping.
What makes it different from Devil’s Lake is the pontoon boat rentals and boat launch area. There is also great fishing with a variety of fish to catch.
Where to Stay in the Area
The Devil’s Lake State Park is only minutes away from Wisconsin Dells and all the amazing resorts and hotels. The state park would make a great day trip from any of these resorts when you need a break from the waterparks.
If you want to find a good deal look at our favorite hotel website booking.com. I love all the great reviews and pictures of the hotels.
Have you figured out where you’re going to stay in Wisconsin Dells? There are so many options from waterpark resorts to condo rentals, hotels, RV parks, and camping. All are great ways to experience the Dells.
When we are looking for discounted stays we use Booking.com. It shows us helpful property reviews, pictures and gives us the best rates.
Here are a few of our favorite places to stay in Wisconsin Dells.
Great Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf Lodge offers a big indoor waterpark that has three sections. You’ll find a wave pool, tons of slides for all ages, sports pool and hot tubs.
What’s unique to Great Wolf Lodge is their MagiQuest game where kids use wands to solve quests and slay a dragon. This was the real highlight of this hotel for us and our kids absolutely loved it.
They also offer a small outdoor waterpark area too the kids will like.
The Wilderness Resort is huge with 4 indoor and 4 outdoor waterparks. They boast the largest indoor wave pool in America with a glass roof that warms you with the sun. You’ll also find tons of slides, sports pools, and smaller kids’ areas to swim.
Besides the pools, they offer a ton of dry activities both indoors and outdoors. Our kids loved the laser tag, 3D mini-golf, go-karts, ropes course, and huge 4 story Timberland Playhouse.
Find out more tips for your visit to Wilderness Resort.
Tip: Look into getting the Fun Pass at the Wilderness to take advantage of all the activities and save a little money.
Chula Vista Resort
If your looking for a little more relaxed waterpark try the Chula Vista Resort. Set along the river it has beautiful views and paths to walk. The indoor waterpark is not as big as the others but it’s all in one room which makes it easier with kids.
Outdoors you will find a kiddie pool, wave pool, slides, and sports pool. One unique aspect is the Beach area where kids can dig in the sand while you have a drink at their outdoor tiki bar.
As for non-water activities, you will find a kids’ center to do crafts and games plus an arcade and miniature golf.
KOA Wisconsin Dells
The KOA in Wisconsin Dells has a convenient location only 1 mile from Downtown. It’s a KOA Holiday level so the site offers lots of extra amenities like a pool, playground, movie nights, and more.
This is the perfect location to pitch a tent or park your RV. They also have several levels of cabins from basic to full kitchens and bathrooms.
It has a very family-friendly atmosphere perfect for traveling with kids.
Check out our KOA Wisconsin Dells Review for more tips, pictures & details.
Things to Do in the Area
Whether your camping at Devil’s Lake or staying in Wisconsin Dells you’ll find tons of fun things to do in the area. A real benefit to this state park is its proximity to great family activities.
Families can take a ducks boat tour, visit museums, amusement parks, obstacle courses, shows, skiing, hiking, and more.
Get some ideas in our 30 Best Things to do in Wisconsin Dells All Year Long .
Another fun area to visit is Downtown Wisconsin Dells it’s pretty touristy but when you get past that it’s a fun area to spend a couple of hours. Visit museums, play indoor miniature golf, head to the arcade, have dinner and grab some fudge or ice cream for dessert.
Check out our favorite Things to do in Downtown Wisconsin Dells.
Are you ready for a fun family day at Devil’s Lake State Park? Hopefully, this guide has you prepared with everything you need to know from beaches to hiking to camping. Our family really enjoyed our day at Devil’s Lake and I hope yours will too!
If you have any questions or great tips of your own please let them in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.
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