- Contact information
- 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 Friday, March 7, 2014:
Ah, springtime! The snow. Below zero temperatures. Wind. Ice. Freezing rain. The lake is still frozen over, the trails are snow-covered, the campsites are icy, and the snowbanks are still heaped high. IF spring actually arrives, we’ll have flowers, warm sunny days, green grass, birdsongs… all the joys of spring!
Trails are snow-covered and icy. We don’t recommend walking the icy trails, but it is not prohibited. People have been out walking the trails during the winter, but in limited numbers. If you do choose to hike the trails despite the snow and ice, we strongly urge you to avoid the steep staircase-like areas and stick to the more level and easily accessible areas. During the winter, all areas may be equally hazardous, but the consequences of a slip-up may be greater in the remote or steep sections. Do not go alone, take a cell phone, map and a few backup supplies just in case. Also, keep in mind that you may not hike on the cross-country ski trails.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
Cross-country ski trails are not groomed, but are still snow-covered and skiable - - in fair condition at best.
When trails are snow-covered, hikers and snowshoers may not travel on the ski trails, though anywhere else is fair game! The steeper bluff trails may not work well because of the numerous stair steps. Snowshoers most often travel the Roznos Meadow, East Bluff (from the north end), Grottos and Group Camp Trails. One could also snowshoe on the Parfrey's Glen and Tumbled Rocks Trails, but those trails are often traveled by regular hikers and may be packed, lumpy or bumpy and refrozen. Snowshoes may be borrowed for free from the Nature Center at times when it is open. Pets may not travel on the ski trails at any time.
Park visitors commonly bring their sleds to the hill behind the Nature Center. This area can be accessed from above (parking at the Nature Center) or below (parking in the Quartzite Campground.) There is no shelter building adjacent, but there are pit toilet restrooms and a winterized water tap not too far from the bottom of the hill.
The lake is frozen over. The park staff does not monitor the thickness of the ice, nor measure the ice. Venturing onto the frozen lake can be hazardous, but it is not prohibited. Use great caution and your own judgment.
The Nature Center is open during the off-season Thursday and Friday from noon to 3:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is closed on Sunday and Monday and may be open some irregular hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. There are a few programs/walks offered even during the winter. Contact Sue, the naturalist, at the park phone number + extension 140 for details or to sign up for email announcements.
See the DNR events calendar for a list of events at all state parks.
Don't move firewood!
Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, Wisconsin has restrictions for moving firewood.
When the snow melts, the rest of Quartzite Campground will be accessible and available for camping. Officially, reservations for the non-winter portion of Quartzite Campground may be made for April 4 and later. Northern Lights and Ice Age Campgrounds will open on May 9.
This fall, construction on new restroom/shower buildings will begin after Labor Day Weekend. Quartzite Campground and part of Northern Lights Campgrounds will be closed for most of the fall season. The exact timing of these closures is necessarily indefinite, since the work and construction schedules depend on weather and other variable factors.
Water facilities (hot showers, running water restrooms, RV dump/fill stations and outdoor water taps) are now closed for the season
Throughout winter, running water restrooms (but no showers) will always be available at the Headquarters and Visitor Center. Non-flush restroom facilities are available year round in five locations around the park. In Quartzite Campground, a winterized water tap and pit toilet buildings are available.
Some water taps and restrooms will be turned back on in the spring, beginning approximately April 15.
The north shore Chateau and all concessions are now closed for the season. Concessions offers snacks, coffee, food, some groceries and camping supplies, ice and boat rentals (canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and rowboats). The Chateau will re-open in the spring, approximately the first weekend in May 2014.
Devil's Lake State Park is open every day of the year from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. During the off-season, the Visitor Center will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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.