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- For information, contact:
- Devil's Lake State Park
S5975 Park Rd.
Baraboo, WI 53913-9299
Devil's Lake State Park Current conditions
Conditions as of Tuesday, December 16, 2014:
Winter at Devil's Lake
After an early and cold start to winter, there have been many mild, gray, and damp days. The lake froze over, and then has waxed and waned since, with open water patches at times. Right now, parts of the lake are open water and parts are frozen. The department does not monitor ice conditions but recent warm weather and rain has likely made the remaining ice unsafe.
The snow is almost entirely gone, present now in only the shadiest of previously drifted spots.
Hikers and pets may not travel on the cross-country ski trails when trails are snow-covered.
Cross-country ski trails
The park has had several inches of snow so far this season, but almost no snow remains after warmer days, some drizzle and wind.
There are about 6 miles of cross-country ski trails at Devil's Lake. Trails are maintained, but not meticulously. When staffing is available, ski trails are groomed before the weekends and after any significant snowfalls.
Snowshoeing at the park is increasing in popularity in recent years. Snowshoers may go anywhere in the park except on the cross-country ski trails. The popular bluff trails are often too steep and stepped for enjoyable snowshoeing. Trails that work better for snowshoers are Roznos Meadow, Sauk Point, Grottos and the gently ascending East Bluff/East Bluff Woods trails.
New 2015 vehicle admission stickers
Next year's new park stickers are now available for sale at the north shore Visitor Center. Park stickers make great Christmas and holiday gifts. We have gift/enclosure cards and envelopes available for giving park stickers. 2015 annual stickers are valid from their purchase date through December 31, 2015.
Roads and parking
Most county and township roads through the park are plowed during the winter. However, park roads and parking is much more limited, with only certain areas being plowed. Limited parking is usually available at the north shore, south shore, CCC/Group Camp, Parfrey's Glen and Steinke Basin. Outlying, smaller and lesser-used parking areas are not maintained or plowed during winter.
Other winter recreation
The hill between the Nature Center and the Quartzite Campground that many people have used for sledding is closed due to the construction in the Quartzite Campground.
As for ice fishing, the park does not monitor or measure the thickness of the lake ice, nor does it vouch for the ice's safety. Ice thickness and quality can vary with time and location. Ice fishers and people walking on the lake's ice must use their own best judgment about the safety of the ice.
Construction will significantly impact fall and winter camping
Attention: Due to multiple Shower/Flush Toilet Building development projects all family campgrounds are now closed for the off-season.
We have targeted this project to be completed in time for the Memorial Day weekend in 2015 or earlier. Please sign up for future email updates via Gov Delivery.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you for your support while we complete this very important project.
Don't move firewood!
Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, Wisconsin has restrictions for moving firewood.
This winter, Group Camp will remain open all year for family, individual and group camping on a first-come, first-served basis.
One winterized water tap is available and non-flush restrooms are open. There are no electric hook-ups at the Group Camp.
The exact duration of these closures is necessarily indefinite, since the work and construction schedules depend on weather and other variable factors.
Hunting in the Park
Hunting and trapping is open in limited areas of the park from November 15 to December 15, except that hunting with legal bow and crossbow methods is allowed through the Sunday nearest January 6. No park-specific permit is required, but all parked vehicles must have a valid WI State Parks vehicle admission sticker.
Hunting and trapping is not allowed in the popular day-use areas around the lake, Parfrey's Glen, any of the picnic areas, Visitor Center, Headquarters, Nature Center or camping areas. You can get a hunting map of Devil's Lake online or at the park Visitor Center.
The Nature Center is open during the winter from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday. It will be closed on Sunday and Monday. If a visit to the Nature Center is crucial to your visit, call ahead to the Naturalist (608-356-8301 ext. 140) to make sure it will be open on a particular day, since having one naturalist means a vacation day requires that the Nature Center be closed.
See the DNR events calendar for a list of events at all state parks.
The north shore Chateau and all concessions operations are closed for the off-season. Concessions will reopen in the spring, approximately the first weekend in May.
Devil's Lake State Park is open every day of the year from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and New Year's Eve.
Park newspapers and maps are available at the main north and south shore entrance stations. Self-pay stations are available for use at five locations in the park.