Hike the Balanced Rock Trail at Devil's Lake

1 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jon Mattrisch

Steep cliffs. Massive boulders. Gorgeous scenery. Experience it all on the Balanced Rock Trail at stunning Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin. 

Devil's Lake is one of Wisconsin's most visited and most beautiful state parks, offering many trails, activities, gorgeous scenery and more. There are various trails to explore in the park, including the East Bluff Trail and the Potholes & CCC Trail Loop, as well as camping that's offered.

The Balanced Rock Trail, however, is exhilarating, breathtaking, strenuous and a bit nerve-wracking when compared to the rest of the park. If that's what you're looking for, then step up to the challenge and begin your ascent.

The trail is named after a rock that seemingly balances near the top of the trail, on the side of the cliff that overlooks the lake. The trail begins at the bottom of the cliff, next to an abandoned railroad track that lines the lakefront. To get here, you can head down S. Lake Rd. where you'll find a parking lot near the lake.

A narrow path that's only marked by wooden posts every few hundred meters directs you up alongside the cliffs, towards the top of the bluff. Irregular steps have been fashioned out of boulders and rocks to help you ascend the trail. Be careful, though, as these steps are spaced unevenly and can be slippery.

Because of the narrowness of the trail, it can get crowded, especially during peak weekend hours. Continue slowly up the steep bluff side and make sure to take in the gorgeous views of the lake below.

Once at the top of the bluff, you'll be rewarded with one of Wisconsin's most beautiful views. From here, you can continue on to the East Bluff trail if you wish, or head back down the Balanced Rock trail. Whatever you choose, you're bound to have an incredible journey. 

Read More


Rock Climbing
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

Love Devil's Lake

Devil's Lake is one of the best (but also most crowded) state parks in WI. The views on this hike are wonderful, but like I said before, the park and this hike are crowded. Wear good shoes. Soak in the views! Insanely beautiful in the fall. Once I did the hike with a friend who had a medium sized dog and sometimes the dog had to be lifted because of the large rocks.

Short And Rugged

Another feat trail at starved rock. I didn't get the photo opportunities that I was hoping but I also didn't have great hike. I suggest taking Starved rock up and Pothole trail down.

Heart Pumping!

Wear sure footed shoes for this vertical hike.

Stay Nearby

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Dells Koa

Reedsburg, Wisconsin

Valley Springs Farm Bed And Breakfast

Valley Springs Farm offers the tranquility of rural life with easy access to recreational, cultural and culinary activities.The 255-acre farm is a mix of woodlands, pastures, rolling cropland, and ...

From $110/night

DeForest, Wisconsin

Madison Koa

Arena, Wisconsin

Nature Lover And Gardener's Dream

The most fantastic farmland, in my family for over 60 years. We had a farmer's market (fruit stand) in the '60s with everything from cantaloupe and watermelon to herbs. Flowers and every vegetable ...

From $24/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Potholes & CCC Trail Loop

    Park in the South entrance group camping lot to find the trailhead, just a few steps North of the parking lot. A few different paths you can take, but took grotto trail (.3 miles) to Potholes trail (.4miles) and looped back on the CCC trail (1 mil...

    2 miles

  • Hike the Perimeter of Devil's Lake

    Devil's Lake State Park has over 22 miles of trails for all hiking skill levels. To hike the perimeter of the lake, Begin with West Bluff Trail, hook into Balanced Rock Trail, and finish with East Bluff Trail. The bluffs surrounding the lakes reac...

    5 miles 500 ft gain

  • Hike the East Bluff Trail to Devil's Doorway

    This hike begins at the east end of the North Shore Visitors' area. The hike starts relatively level before turning to the right and leading you up steps. The spectacular views come quickly on this hike as immediately after you reach the top steps...

    2.4 miles 500 ft gain

  • Bouldering at Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin

    Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin offers some of the craziest views in the midwest as well as an abundance of supreme bouldering sites. To start off this endeavor there is one key item: a parking sticker. You can obtain one of these by heading ...