June 25, 2012

Featured Bicycle Touring Route: Devil's Lake State Park



by Peter Herreid

Devil’s Lake is one of the most popular state parks in Wisconsin and a great weekend camping destination for biking out of Madison. So, it is surprising not to see more people pulling up to campsites on bikes. The park is located about 42 miles northwest of Madison or roughly five hours on a fully loaded bike. The route is hilly, but the destination rewarding.



Some activities
The park is also well known for rock climbing, which is evident by the number of rock climbing bumper stickers on vehicles with Illinois license plates. There are also great hiking trails, not only along the bluff ridges but also through the boulders that have tumbled down to the lake’s shoreline.

Hwy 12 Path

From May to September, you can rent rowboats, kayaks, and canoes.  Deep water along stretches of rocky shoreline offers many spots to fish for trout or bass with a slip bobber and cold beer. A remodeled chateau on the north side serves New Glarus on tap.

Merrimac Ferry

Directions by bike
From downtown Madison, we recommend a route that takes the Hwy 12 Path out of Middleton to Lodi-Springfield Road. Low-traffic county and town roads lead north to the Wisconsin River. In Merrimac, there’s free ferry service across the river and then it’s about another hour to a campsite on the north side of the lake. 

Entering the Wisconsin River Valley

Alternatively, some people take a route that crosses the Wisconsin River at Prairie du Sac. This may avoid some hills and shave off a couple of miles, but you would likely have to contend with more vehicular traffic (and miss out on the ferry). 

Candy's Merrimac Cafe

Plans for future off-street bike path route
In the future, you may be able to take off-street paths all the way from Madison to Devil’s Lake, which would nearly complete a trail route leading from Milwaukee to La Crosse as envisioned in the state’s 2001 State Trails Network Plan and the 2012 US Bike Route System Corridor Map. It remains unclear when/if these plans will be implemented and whether the route from Madison to Devil’s Lake would consist entirely of trails or be partially on-road. 

Walking bikes on Tumbled Rock Path is a shortcut to avoid the West Bluff

21 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this information about biking to Devil's Lake. I've been wanting to go, but didn't know about any good routes. I can't wait to try your route!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear it! Let us know how your trip goes!

      Delete
  2. Hi! Thanks so much for posting this. I used it as the last segment of a 3-day ride and it was great. Neither the state maps nor Google make it clear which back roads are good for cycling, so your advice here was very helpful. It was a great end to my ride.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We're glad to know you found the post useful!

      Delete
  3. Hello! Thank you for this information. How many hours will it take roughly from downtown Madison to devil's lake?

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is basic that we read blog entry deliberately. I am as of now done it and find this post is truly stunning. Best Mountain Bikes Under 200

    ReplyDelete
  5. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. cheap kayaks

    ReplyDelete
  6. For many people this is important, so check out my profile: best touring kayaks

    ReplyDelete
  7. I finally found great post here.I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark sites. thanks.Quality posts is the crucial to invite the visitors to visit the web page, that's what this web page is providing. touring kayaks

    ReplyDelete
  8. Only aspire to mention ones content can be as incredible. This clarity with your post is superb and that i may think you’re a guru for this issue. High-quality along with your concur permit me to to seize your current give to keep modified by using approaching blog post. Thanks a lot hundreds of along with you should go on the pleasurable get the job done. ebike

    ReplyDelete
  9. Personally I think overjoyed I discovered the blogs. TECH

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site TECH

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is my first visit to your blog, and I am very impressed with the articles that you serve. Give adequate knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful material. I will be back for the more great post. polaris ranger

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information. carbon wheelset

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am thankful to you for sharing this plethora of useful information. I found this resource utmost beneficial for me. Thanks a lot for hard work. taxibusje rotterdam

    ReplyDelete
  14. Share the photo on other social media sites. Instagram allows you to easily share photos on Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Once these users see your photo they will go to your site, or begin to follow you on Instagram. my site

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi there! Nice stuff, do keep me posted when you post again something like this! 메이저사이트

    ReplyDelete
  16. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon! best spin bike seats

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  18. Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete