5 Great Ways to Enjoy Devil’s Lake State Park in the Winter
Devil’s Lake State Park is one of the great destinations of Wisconsin for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes across all seasons, and even the most rudimentary description of the place explains why. The park, situated along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, offers dazzling views from 500-foot quartzite bluffs overlooking a 360-acre lake. Its 9,000 acres are but an anchor for the more than 27,000 acres of preserved parkland and other natural areas open to public recreation in Sauk County.
Also located in Sauk County is Baraboo, its county seat, and more of America’s more charming small towns — in part because it’s home to all things Ringling Brothers of circus fame, which includes Ringling House, our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast. It’s the perfect place to begin and end a day of adventure in Devil’s Lake State Park — it’s close by, it’s loaded with historic charm, and it’s loaded with modern comforts as well.
So make your plans for a winter-wonderland getaway to Devil’s Lake State Park — and start by booking your stay at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today!
Top 5 Winter Activities at Devil’s Lake State Park
Whatever it is the gets your blood moving and your heart pumping, Devil’s Lake State Park is the place to do it, and winter is no exception. Small wonder that it’s Wisconsin’s most visited park — on average, more than one million people come here per year. And the solitary and small-group nature of most winter activities in the park, as well as the surplus of space in which to do it, makes it practically a pandemic-escape paradise.
Here are some of the most popular winter activities at Devil’s Lake State Park:
- Snowshoeing. Devil’s Lake State Park offers 23 miles of hiking trails for snowshoeing use, 14 of which are along the Ice Age trail. The best views, high above the lake, can be found on the West Bluff Trail, which starts at the parking lot/boat landing and rises 500 feet before into mixed forestland and open bluffs. From there you can connect onto other trails to make the round trip as short or as long — up to about 4 miles — as you like. You can rent equipment on-site.
- Cross-country skiing. Locals say that the best cross-country skiing in the area can be found at nearby Mirror Lake State Park, but Devil’s Lake does its best despite lots of variable elevation with 17 miles of groomed trails.
- Sledding. The park has a popular sledding hill right near its entrance, next to the Nature Center, that runs down to the Quartzite Campground.
- Ice fishing. The surface of Devil’s Lake stays dependably frozen during the winter months, making it a good spot to pull up a shack, drill a hole and drop a line for brown trout and Northern pike, both stocked by state fisheries officials.
- Camping. Yes, winter camping is a thing at Devil’s Lake State Park, and Quartzsite Campground, close to the park entrance, accommodates the hardy with about a dozen campsites serviced by non-flush restrooms and a single winterized water tap.
Stay at Our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast for Your Winter Adventures
At the Ringling House, we’ll make sure you day of winter adventures in the Wisconsin cold gets on on the right foot with a good night’s sleep in a comfortable king or queen bed in one of our six guest rooms, followed by a delicious and hearty breakfast sourced from local ingredients (when possible).
And when you’re ready to warm up after a day of winter fun, we’ll be here to greet you with recommendations for the best nearby dinner options, and our common areas — the parlor, library and music rooms — make for warm places to relax with a drink. And you can do this knowing that we have your COVID-19 safety in mind at all times.
So make your plans for a Devil’s Lake State Park winter getaway — and start by reserving your room at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today!