Trips on a Tankful

As you drive into Devils Lake State Park, the sound of your vehicle's engine is the last sound of civilization you'll hear, because this is more than 10 thousand acres of nothing but peace and quiet.

Kristin Miller, Oshkosh, says "This is the first breath of fresh air that I've breathed in forever. You can tell the difference here."

Tyler Grundy, Oshkosh, says, "It's beautiful, it's gorgeous here."

Many call Devil's Lake the jewel of the state park system.

Rich Evans, Park Supt., says, "You can see the bluffs towering above, the lake is pristine, there is a lot of scenic beauty here in the park."

And at the center of it all is Devil's Lake. It's filled with bass, bluegill, northern and trout and covered with canoes. On top of that, birds fill the air. Turkey vultures are the most visible. The lake is nestled between stunning bluffs of tumbling rock, dug out and piled up 10,000 years ago.

Evans says, "The Wisconsin River used to flow right through here, then the glacier came through and that's when the lake was formed."

Formed with sandy beaches on both the north and south side, mankind has formed 40 miles of trails through the park. Some of them nice and flat, others will take you up steep bluffs leading to sights that are almost out of this world, but don't take those steep walks lightly.

Evans says, "If you plan to hike, take water and a cell phone and don't try to rush it."

The hustle and bustle and sights and sounds of Wisconsin Dells are less than 15 miles from the park, so a lot of people use Devils Lake as a sort of "nature's motel"

Evans says, "We have a lot of people who stay here, go to the Dells, get a little flavor of both, ride the ducks and come back here for rest and relaxation."

There are 407 camp sights for that r-and-r, many offering electric hook-up, but the main idea here is to leave the stress behind and stop and smell the roses, or in this case violets and other wild flowers.

Devils Lake State Park is a pretty easy trip from Wausau. Just head down I-39 to Highway 33 West into Baraboo and follow the signs.

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