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Archive for April 18th, 2010

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Hiking up the rocky "steps" is a great workout

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to spend a few warm summer-like days in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Dells. When I was  a child, my family used to take me and my brother to the

Dells and I have fond memories of lakes, hiking, go carts, haunted houses and, of course, Tommy Barlett’s water show with water skiers skiing in human pyramids.  Visiting again now so many years later, “the Dells,” as they are known to the initiated, are now a haven for water parks and other amusements. However, my man and I are always up for a bit of nature and hiking so we soon grew tired of the amusement park strip and headed to Devil’s Lake to hike up and down what we think of as a mini Yosemite, Devil’s Lake. Like much of Wisconsin, this region was created by glacial formations and so has a lot of very rocky terrain and tall cliffs to hike and rock climb.

The day we were at the lake, March 31, the weather was warm, about 75 degrees F, and we saw kayakers out on the lake as well! Many families and couples were out that day. We hiked from about noon to 6pm and at sundown the views of the lake from high on the cliffs were spectacular. I’m sharing some of our pics from that day’s hike to help entice you to make your own journey to this beautiful natural park, unusually hilly (I’d say Mini-mountains is more like it) for the Midwest.  You don’t have to go far to find cliffs and rocks and lakes–Devils’ Lake is just about 3 hours Northwest of Chicago, about 30 minutes North of Madison, WI.

For info on Devils’ Lake, click here.

For directions, click here. Devil’s Lake State Park address: S5975 Park Rd., Baraboo WI 53913-9299 Phone (608) 356-8301

Fees

For an out-of state resident, a one day pass is $7. For an out-of-state annual pass, it’s $35. Camping is available at Devils Lake as well, click here.

View of Devil's Lake from East Bluff nearly at the top of the cliff

As we started our hike, we met one of the Park’s “rangers” as he and his companion started off on a kayaking trip around the lake.

What a great job! Manage the Park and go kayaking at lunch!

The water was cold, but soon will be a great place to swim!

The day we went was a pretty windy day, so you mostly hear wind instead of the relaxing waves lapping at the shore, but this short video gives you a nice view of the lake from the water’s edge.

While we were hiking, we passed several groups of people practicing their rock climbing skills on walls of rock.

Rock climbers taking a break

We spent 6 hours hiking up and down different areas of the East Bluff Trail. The hike was fairly strenuous in parts because we choose routes that took up up and down the rocks to really challenge our cardiovascular systems and of course our calves! (Which were good and sore the next day)

No, this is not Yosemite, California, it’s Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin!

Sundown at Devil's Lake, WI

And at the end of our long day hiking, instead of relaxing in a nice jacuzzi, we decided to head over to the indoor waterpark Mount Olympus at Hotel Rome where we were staying. We spent two more hours climbing up and down stairs so we could slide down long winding water slides. In one day we gave our bodies and our minds a lot to enjoy!

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