- 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 Tuesday, November 24, 2015:
Winter at Devil's Lake
The park has received its first snowfall of the season, about 3 inches. So things are looking wintry and wondrous, but there's certainly not yet enough snow for skiing, snowshoeing or sledding. The lake won't freeze over for another several weeks.
Quartzite Campground will remain open throughout the offseason. When snow comes, a few sites are plowed during the winter.
Water facilities are turned off for the season. This includes RV dump/fill stations, water taps and running water restrooms and showers. The only running water restrooms will be open at the north shore headquarters and Visitor Center along with winterized water taps at both the Group Camp and in the Quartzite Campground.
One of our last major projects for 2015, to reconstruct a beach wall along the north shore, is going on now. The scope of the project, including planned access paths and a new sand blanket covering the majority of the existing beach, will stretch from the west side of the Chateau to the existing quartzite rip-rap just west of the Sugar Maple shelter.
This section of beach will be closed to visitors during construction. All existing paved walkways will still be accessible and no construction equipment will be operated on the weekends. Lake access will remain on the east side of the Chateau and on the entire south beach area.
Hunting in the Park
Hunting is allowed in the park in specific limited areas (get a hunting map at the park or link online) from November 15 through December 15, plus the late archery season. For more information, check out Hunting in Wisconsin State Parks.
The popular areas around the lake and bluff trails, open campgrounds, picnic areas, lake area and Parfrey's Glen are off limits to hunting.
During the winter, trails will often be snow-covered or icy, so trails are not recommended for winter hiking; however, trails are not officially closed, so use your own judgment about exploring the trails. Hikers may not hike on the cross-country ski trails when trails are snow covered.
Snowshoeing has been increasing greatly in popularity in the last few years. At Devil's Lake, you may snowshoe on any trails except the cross-country ski trails. The popular bluff trails near the lake are steep and stepped in places, and are not ideal for snowshoeing. You might try the Roznos Meadow, Grottoes, Sauk Point, East Bluff Woods and Uplands Loop trails for snowshoeing.
The Nature Center has snowshoes for free loan on days when the Nature Center is open.
There are about 6-miles of cross-country ski trails in the park. Most skiers start from the Steinke Basin parking lot. Trails are not rigorously groomed, but are usually packed and/or tracked after significant snowfalls and before weekends. It takes a couple of 6"+ snowfalls before the trails are readily skiable for the season, so right now trails are still closed for skiing. Ski trail conditions are usually updated on the park's phone message and on the Wisconsin Snow Report. Pets are not allowed on ski trails.
At Devil's Lake, ice fishing is moderately popular. Anglers catch northern pike, brown trout and other fish during the winter. The lake will usually freeze over sometime in December. Park staff members do not monitor the lake ice condition, thickness or safety; conditions can change from place to place and from day to day. You must use your own judgment in deciding about venturing onto the frozen surface of the lake.
Don't move firewood!
Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, Wisconsin has restrictions for moving firewood.
The Nature Center is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m (depending on staff availability and school group schedules).
The North Shore Chateau, Ice Age Camp Store and South Shore Concessions are closed until next spring.
Devil's Lake State Park is open every day of the year from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The north shore Visitor Center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Park maps are available at the main north and south shore entrance stations. Self-pay stations (cash or check only) are available for use at five locations in the park.