Devils Lake State park is one of the most popular state parks in Wisconsin. It battles Peninsula State park every year for highest number in attendance every year. Given the rather small size of the park, Devils Lake can get quite crowded in the summer.
However right now during the spring is one of my favorite times to go. Fewer people and better lines of site, while the forrest floor and trees are yet to fill in. While the beach isn't too inviting the hiking and isn't plagued with kids and tourists from out of town.
The park is loaded with great climbing both bouldering and vertical assents along the east and west bluffs. We easily saw 15-20 lines along the east bluff on Sunday.
The name of Devils Lake is to my surprised somewhat unknown. You can read more about it here
Regardless of what's in a name, the history and geographical formation of the lake is well known. With the melting of the glaciers during the last ice age is responsible for the amount of water and rocks piled high. To the adventurous type this makes for great exploration and climbing to get off the beaten path.
I recommend hiking all of the East bluff if you have time during the sunset hours. Pictured here are photos of Devils Door Way along, which is a 25-30 foot pair of balancing rocks that lie on the edge of a cliff. This structure can be climbed (free solo) at your own risk. I don't climbing it unless you are a very confident and skilled climber.
Their are many views and places to sit and watch as the sun sets over Devils Doorway. Note - if you stay till sun down, you are going to want to have a flash light for the trek down.
I was also very excited to see and as we came to the parking lot by the Camp site on the south side, I could hear some squawking towards the restrooms. With a little investigation I found the source of the noise to be over a dozen blue herons, flying tree to tree in some sort of mating or nesting ritual. They were very active flying all around as dusk fell.