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In Sauk County, just a few minutes away from Baraboo, is the largest, most popular state park in Wisconsin: Devil’s Lake State Park. This 9,200-acre park is just 35 miles away from the state capital, Madison, and 12 miles away from the town of Merrimac. The park's vast RV camping area makes an excellent stopover or vacation destination.
The primary attraction here is Devil’s Lake. Before Devil’s Lake formed, this area was filled with gorges. During the last ice age, a glacier covered the eastern end of the Baraboo Hills. This created two natural dams which altered the flow of the ancient rivers, leaving a large body of water within the hills — what is now Devil's Lake. The lake and its surrounding area are still used for geological research, as well as fun outdoor activities. The state park preserves the lake's interesting geological history and educates visitors about its historical significance and ecosystem.
Whether you choose to swim, fish, kayak, hunt, or enjoy a combination of all the above, you'll find an adventure here to suit every member of your camping crew. Search for an RV in Sauk County or Baraboo and plan your stay at Devil’s Lake State Park.
Baraboo campers should start their adventure at the park's visitors' center, where they can view displays of the park's wildlife and check out pictures of Devil's Lake dating back to the late 19th century. Devil’s Lake State Park's calendar is full of fun, educational events and nature programs which give visitors an up-close view of the plants and animals that live here. Plan ahead for your camping trip at Devil's Lake State Park and see what's happening during your stay.
You can also explore the area and discover all sorts of birds, critters, and plants within the park's four main natural areas. Parfrey's Glen is Wisconsin's oldest natural area and a botanist's paradise. You won't see many animals here, though, apart from rare diving beetles. The Oak Forest and South Bluff/Devil's Nose areas provide excellent birdwatching opportunities, and East Bluff's pygmy forest is also worth a wander.
Scuba divers are welcome to explore the depths of Devil's Lake. Those who prefer a calmer activity can rent a canoe or kayak from the park and row from one side of the lake to the other. Trout fishing is another popular pastime here. Anglers could also reel in bass, walleye, pike, and panfish.
If you'd rather stay on dry land, Devil's Lake State Park's 29-mile trail network features a variety of terrains and experiences for hikers of all skill levels. The trails, though not maintained during the winter, remain open to snowshoers, skiers, and winter wanderers of all types.
Tent and RV campers are welcome at Devil's Lake State Park's three campgrounds, which offer more than 400 sites and a variety of amenities.
Quartzite Campground, open year-round, provides electric hookups for guests camping in an RV at Devil's Lake State Park. Big rigs will be well accommodated here with roomy sites, a dump station, and even a playground. Northern Lights Campground is the oldest within the state park, featuring more than 70 shaded sites with electric hookups. Ice Age Campground is close to the lake, but doesn't offer any hookups.
All three campgrounds provide picnic tables and fire rings. Flush restrooms and showers are available in all three campgrounds apart from Ice Age, which offers pit toilets and showers.
You can reserve most RV campsites at Devil's Lake State Park online, although a few sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Camping at Devil’s Lake State Park puts you close to Baraboo and all its attractions. The city is home to multiple gas stations, stores, and different cuisines, including Italian, vegetarian, and fast food, making it an excellent place to restock the RV rental before continuing your Wisconsin road trip.
Just under five miles away from the park is Ochsner Park and Zoo, opened in 1926. The zoo houses many exotic species, including bears, wolves, and lynxes. Why not treat the kids to a fun, educational outing and experience one of the zoo's educational programs?
Those who camp in an RV near Baraboo can also visit the Circus World Museum. Here, you'll find one of the largest circus collections in the world and learn about the Ringling Brothers, who lived in Baraboo. This is a fun experience for the whole family and a great place to grab a souvenir to commemorate your trip.
Alternatively, you can venture a bit further away from the park to visit the Cave of the Mounds and explore this famous geological wonder. Kids and adults alike will love the unique activities on offer here, including gemstone mining and fossil digging.