Hiking Devil’s Lake Wisconsin State Park


One of my favorite places to hike is Devil’s Lake Wisconsin State Park. It is very popular due to its wonderful beaches and beautiful quartzite bluffs.  There are several hiking trails to keep guests busy for an entire weekend.

However, I try to steer clear of Devil’s Lake during the peak tourist season because it is such a popular park, there is no peace and quiet to be had.  I took this particular hike in the afternoon after Labor Day weekend had passed.

Devils Lake bottom View

View from South Shore beach

I hiked the Balanced Rock Trail up to the East Bluff Trail, diverting over to the Devil’s Doorway, and then headed back down on the Potholes Trail, and finally returning to my car on the Grotto Trail (WI DNR Devil’s Lake map).

It is several different trails that connect with each other, for a total hike of approx 1.3-miles.

Devils Lake Balance Rock closeup

Balanced Rock

The balanced rock trail can be one of the more difficult trails, due to the steep and narrow climb of the quartzite stairs.  When passing people more times than not, you will have to step off the stairs and balance on another rock until the group has gone by.  This can difficult at times due to the rocky bluff side.

Devils Lake Rock Stairs copy

Stairs made from the quartzite

The Devil’s Doorway is a spectacular rock formation and one of the highlights of this hike.  To get there you have to leave the East Bluff Trail and hike the trail marked Devil’s Doorway, it only adds 0.1-mile on to your hike.

Devils Lake Devils Doorway 2

Devil’s Doorway

Some of these trails are not for the faint of heart, but the view from the top of the bluff and the adventure of getting there makes them a must-do.

Devils Lake Top View

Next, I hike back down the bluff on the Potholes Trail and was delighted to pass through this gorge walkway.  This trail is also one of the more difficult ones because of the steep quartzite stairs and narrow walking area.

Devil's Lake Split in Stairs

Gorge stairway

There are many great hiking trails at Devil’s Lake, which one will you do first?

When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.

Always give more than you take and leave no trace. 

Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

If you have comments please feel free share them below



  1. That looks an amazing hike, you have some interesting blogs and look forward to reading them and viewing your photos.


    1. Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond. Yes Devil’s Lake is a great place to hike. Cheers to the future 🙂


      1. No problem I’ll get through your blog over the coming weeks, I like to read other hikers blogs once I’ve gotten mine caught up.


        1. Awesome, I do the same thing as well. I look forward to reading more of your blog as well 🙂


          1. Thank you, happy blogging


  2. Looks like a beautiful day for a hike. I imagine climbing up and around all those rocks would be even more challenging in inclement weather. One of my favourite times to hike is post-Labour Day. Less crowds, less bugs, and less heat.


    1. I love hiking in the fall for all of the great reasons you mentioned and the awesome colors changing in the trees. Thanks for reading 🙂


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