Hike the Bluff Trail to the stairs at Lion's Den Gorge



1.7 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type


Added by Andy Merkel

Don't stop at the gorgeous (pun intended) views from the top, going to the bottom of the Lion's Den Gorge is a must-see all year round!

This is a longer hike than just simply appreciating the lake from the top. Follow the signs along the Gorge loop toward the "Stairs". This entire loop will take you approximately 1 hour from the parking lot to the lake roundtrip. 

There are multiple routes to the bottom. 

For those that want a straight shot to the staircase and to the lake, right off of the boardwalk will be a straight-shot trail called the "Lion's Den Trail" and it is the wheelchair accessible trail. For those that want to see the gorge/lake, follow signs for the "Bluff trail". This is a "difficult" trail in parts and especially in the winter is a slipping hazard on account of the ice that forms along the Bluff trail on the mild hills. 

Once you get to the staircase, hang onto the rails as this is another area that you could potentially slip on! 

Once you get to the bottom there are two paths you can take:

1.) Follow the river toward the left (bring boots)

2.) Go toward the beach to the right (bring a swimsuit)

Leave a little bit earlier if you have time so that you can do both! This is one of the best kept secrets in SE WI. It truly feels like you are in the mountains when you get down into this ravenous area! 

You can potentially follow the river the entire way out, and then trek back on the surrounding farmlands toward the parking lot. 

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Known for

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area


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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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