If you’ve wanted to try kayaking come learn at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wis., this summer. This 360-acre lake’s flat-water and no-motor-boat policy make it an ideal place to begin. And you don’t need to bring a kayak to try paddling five minutes from the Inn.
Rent recreational kayaks at the park anytime during the summer at the North Shore Concessions store in the Chateau or at the South Shore Concessions store. Single kayaks are $15.00 per hour, double are $24.00 an hour. You can also rent canoes, rowboats, paddle boards and paddle boats. Find more rental details at www.devilslakewisconsin.com
Nearly anyone, any age or ability, can paddle these lightweight, stable crafts on flat water. How to get in and out, and paddle by rotating your torso are simple techniques that take minutes to learn and prepare you for lots of leisurely paddling. Navigating a faster-flowing river is the next step.
Quietly gliding along a peaceful lake or stream from the gentle motion of your strokes is a special sensation. You’ll gain a different view of the landscape from atop the water. The experience is relaxing and transforming for many people. Come try it. Many who have now have kayaks on their cars, including people in their 80s and 90s!
Enjoy paddling the lake when you choose or join a guided kayak tour Friday and Saturday evenings. As you paddle the lake surrounded by the 500-foot cliffs of Baraboo quartzite, you’ll learn about the park’s history, geology and the lake’s wildlife. All skill levels are welcome.
May 26 & 27: 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
June 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 & 30: 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
July 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29: 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Aug. 4, 5, 11 & 12: 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 & 19: 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Aug. 25 & 26: 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 & 2: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
July 8: Guided Full Moon Paddle, 8:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Decorate your or your rented kayak, canoe, boat, paddle board and/or yourself with glow sticks to enjoy the magic of night paddling and create some light art during this guided paddle of Devil’s Lake. Tour begins at the park’s north shore Chateau boat launch. Registration is required.
May through October join retired 30-year park naturalist, author and Baraboo Range geology expert Ken Lange for A Hike Back In Time at Devil’s Lake State Park. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn, for an orientation. Then hike 3.5 miles through the park, onto the end moraine of the Wisconsin glacier to the top of the east bluff’s south end to see rocks transported by glaciers, potholes, Devil’s Doorway, an Indian marker tree, a 200-year-old red cedar, a quartzite glade, pygmy forest unique to Wisconsin and more. Some sections of the trail are steep. Wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water. Admission is free.
Ken has extensive knowledge of and passion for the Baraboo Bluffs and Devil’s Lake. To hear him teach and show you the apple of his eye is a delightful experience you don’t want to miss.
New this year are half and full-day Adventure Hikes deeper into the by Derrick Mayoleth. Learn more here and register soon, spaced is limited to six people each.
If you have questions about the park and its events, call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or write to the park’s naturalist at SusanA.Johansen@wisconsin.gov.
For kayak tours, guided hikes and self-exploring the park, you’ll need a state park vehicle admission sticker, available as you enter the north and south shores of Devil’s Lake State Park.
Long lines at the park entrance’s Visitor Centers are becoming more common in the summer and nice-weather weekends year-round. Before you come purchase an admission sticker online from the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks. Here you can also donate to help keep the parks open despite severe state funding cuts. Allow a few days for it to arrive by mail before you depart for Baraboo.
Confirm tour and hike dates, and learn about other park events at www.devilslakewisconsin.com.
Pick up the new park new trails map at the north shore’s Nature Center or at the Inn, or download it here. It now depicts the Ice Age Trail segments through the park, Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area and the adjacent Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve.