Hike the Perimeter of Devil's Lake

5 miles 500 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Justine Marshall

If you like breathtaking vistas and amazing rock formations with a lake front view, Devil's Lake State Park is the place for you! Hikers, climbers, and water loving mermaids will feel right at home at this Wisconsin gem.

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 reach elevations up to 500 feet.

West Bluff Trail is a good trail for beginner to intermediate hikers. The south is a steep climb with it becoming easier as you approach the north end of the trail. The West Bluff Trail is approximately 1.5 miles long. Views along the trail include Devil's Lake (named to draw in tourists) and Lake Wisconsin in the distance. Combine this trail with Tumbled Rocks Trail that is adjacent to Devil's Lake to add an additional 1.5 miles to your trek.

Balanced Rock Trail boasts a steep and rocky terrain with steps carved from quartzite boulders present in the area that is a favorite of area climbers. You can find the 0.4 mile long Balanced Rock formation off to the south of the trail, on the south face of the East Bluff. 

East Bluff Trail ranges from intermediate to difficult. Look for Elephant Rock just above Elephant Cave while traversing its undulating pathway along its quartzite outcrops. East Bluff Trail intersects with Balanced Rock Trail on the south end, where it then continues east. Bonus points if you hike the entire trail and find Devil's Doorway and the Potholes Trail before ending at the CCC Trail. 

Best times to use the trail are March through October. In the winter, the trail becomes very slippery with ice. 

Read More


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

šŸ„ˆ Contributor

about 2 months ago

WI Beauty

The hike is 5 stars without a doubt. Expect to see a lot of other people as Devil's Lake is a hidden gem in WI. Take your time exploring the area and hiking the loop. There are plenty of spots to take a break (rocky areas only - let's all try to stop the damage and erosion off-trail hiking causes) and rocky outlooks to take in the view. There are bathrooms and picnic tables at the beach area/parking lots. Please pack out all that you pack in :)


šŸ„‡Top Contributor

about 2 years ago

The best in Wisconsin

This is probably the best and most thorough hike one can do in Wisconsin. Takes a good 2-3 hours to do the whole thing! Well worth it, but if you don't like crowds, avoid the 12-3pm time to do this. It is best viewed at sunrise/sunset!

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 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 ...

  • Camp at Devils Lake State Park

    Devil's Lake State Park has 29 miles of trail that vary in difficulty. The most popular trails are the East and West Bluff trails that circle Devil's Lake and offer some of the best views in the park. If you want a more relaxing day, head to the b...

  • Hike the Balanced Rock Trail at Devil's Lake

    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 andĀ theĀ Potholes & CCC...

    1 miles