Monday, August 18, 2014

Devil's Lake State Park

While staying in New Glarus Woods State Park, we ran up to Devil's Lake in the car.  Were we glad we did!  First a little background.  Devil's Lake is spring fed, and has no outlet thanks to moraines deposited during the last glacial period about 22,000 years ago.  The Nature Center had an interesting display explaining this occurrence.  The lake is bordered by quartzsite cliffs.

 I had picked out a hike that looked promising online and the girls at the concession stand said nothing to discourage me.  (Somehow we missed the information booth.)

On the above map, we started at the star, took the Balanced Rock Trail (.4 mi.), the East Bluff Trail (.6 mi.), the CCC trail (.3 mi.), and back on the Grottos Trail (.7 mi.), for a total of 2 miles.  Sounds easy, huh?

Well, nobody told us the Balanced Rock Trail was .4 mi. of stone steps!  Good thing we had practiced on all those lookout towers.

About a third of the way up, we could see Balanced Rock way above us.

And we appreciated the clearings with nice views of Devil's Lake.

But we weren't done climbing.  Here's Ron pretending to talk to a young man.  Really he was just resting.

Whew!  We made it.  This is Devil's Doorway.  Personally, I would hesitate to climb on it.  It doesn't look too stable to me.

What a spot for lunch!

With endless views.

But you know what 'they' say about what goes up, must come down.  Soon we were on the CCC Trail making our way down between all those rocks.
(I know it doesn't look like it, but there really was a good trail.)

Finally we had a nice stroll back along the Grottos Trail.

The girls at the concession stand were happy to see us.  It took us so long, I think they were beginning to worry.  Although that climb was rather strenuous, it was a wonderful hike.  We just took our time.

On our way home, we stopped at Natural Bridge State Park to see the sandstone bridge.  Although we've seen many in the Southwest, it's highly unusual for Wisconsin.
(Somebody needs to get rid of all those trees so the bridge shows up better.)

And along the road, I got such a kick out of seeing the Tin Man.

Just look at the beautiful job his creator did on his face.


  1. Just a walk in the park for you guys. They'd have to come looking for me. Great tin man.

  2. I dont think I'd stand under that stacked rock that way either! Looks like a fine hike!! The Tin Man is excellent!!

  3. Seeing the Tin Man along the road must have made you question if you were actually in WI and not OZ! :c)

  4. After all those steps, are you ready to climb Picacho Peak again?

  5. Great tin man! We've done that hike, it was actually our first destination when my parents got their rv that we shared. Some day I'll post the pics. We went on a hot and humid day and I was not in the kind of shape I am today, not to mention not yet diagnosed with asthma. I was actually thinking of this hike the other day because I remembered all the rock lichen on the trip back down.