Settled just three hours away from Chicago, Devil’s Lake State Park in the Baraboo hills is a recreational paradise. Devil’s Lake State Park is the largest and most visited state park in Wisconsin. This 10,000-acre park is home to some of the oldest and interesting geology in North America. The Quartzite rock, that can be found and Devil’s Lake, is estimated to be anywhere from 550-million to a billion years old. These ancient geological marvels have distinctive pink and purple hues, and form 500 foot bluffs that are perfect for capturing breathtaking views.
Devil’s Lake is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. Devil’s Lake has it all: rock climbing, hiking, bicycling, swimming, scuba diving, fishing, and so much more. You can even rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats to take out on the lake. With so much to do at Devil’s Lake you can’t fit it all in one day, so stay at one of the park’s four campground’s to make the most of your vacation.
Devil’s Lake has four beautiful campgrounds. Each campground has different qualities that have made each of them popular with various annual campers. Unfortunately, there are no campgrounds on the shoreline of Devil’s Lake itself, but the lake is not too far away.
Once a 9-hole golf course, the Quartzite Campground was converted to campsites in 1962, creating the closest campground to the North Shore Visitor’s area. The terrain here is what you’d expect from an old golf course: slightly rolling terrain, mostly open to the sky, with a good collection of shade trees about. This is certainly the sunniest campground at Devil’s Lake, great for spring and fall camping in colder weather.
The Quartzite Loop is the most convenient Devil’s Lake camping area, within easy walking distance of the Nature Center, Chateau, and North Shore hiking trails. It’s also easier to get in and out of the Quartzite Loop, as the campground connects directly to County Road DL, north of the Park. Being the most convenient campground, Quartzite can become quite busy during summer weekends. To avoid feeling crowded out, try to score a perimeter site.
Northern Lights Campground
Laid out in the 1930s, Northern Lights Campground is the oldest campground at Devil’s Lake. Northern Lights consists of two main loops hugging either side of a large, sloping hill. Northern Lights has both sunny (eastern half) and forested (western half) sites; choose your site according to the season or your tastes. The original stone bath house at the north end of the campground is probably the most attractive and well-built campground bathroom in all of Wisconsin.
Ice Age Campgrounds
The Ice Age Loop is the largest and most remote Devil’s Lake camping area and is split into western and eastern sections. The Ice Age West features private, generously spaced-out sites surrounded by dense, young forests. Most sites receive midday sun. Ice Age East, on the other hand, sits inside an older, more developed forest. Most sites here are fully shaded, covered by a thick canopy; these are probably the most intimate and remote campsites in the Park.
Since the Ice Age area is further from the North Shore concessions, it has its own store south of the western loops. Unlike Quartzite and Northern Lights, Ice Age does not have a playground for kids, but it does have two teepee sites, that sleep four people each, that you can reserve at the Wisconsin State Park reservations system.
Group Campground (South Shore)
If you are camping with a large group that has eight people or more, you may prefer a Group Camp Site over multiple individual sites. Each group site holds a different maximum group size: Sites 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 accommodate 20 people each; Site 5 accommodates 40 people; and Site 1 can host 60 campers.
To check availability and reserve your spot at Devil’s Lake State Park, go to Devil’slakewisconsin.com.