Posts Tagged ‘devils lake state park’
You may have noticed that our popular website, DevilsLakeWisconsin.com has had a bit of a facelift for the new season. We’re really proud of the fresh new look, but that’s not all we’ve got in store for the new year! Our Skillet Creek Journal articles, blogs, photo galleries, news and notes will also be moving over on DevilsLakeWisconsin.com. A natural fit! What’s more, in 2012 we will be working with local radio WRPQ 99.7 FM and the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce to bring timely state park, outdoor and community tips, events, weather and other useful information to you through regular features on WRPQ 99.7 FM (Available right from your car or campsite of course!) and through our new “More to Explore” section of DevilsLakeWisconsin.com. In “More to Explore” you’ll find all the stuff you want to know about outside the borders of the park including Baraboo Hills shopping & dining info, weather news, maps to everywhere, more natural areas, tips on hiking, biking & paddling with your family and so much more. I could just ramble on, but I’ll stop right here, and simply invite you to join us over at DevilsLakeWisconsin.com this summer and while you’re here, make it a point to tune into 99.7. We look forward to seeing you!
Oh, and remember, for daily pics and your daily fix of the Devil’s Lake area vibe join us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SkilletCreek
Here it is 2012 already and Devil’s Lake State Park‘s centennial year is over. On Christmas morning local resident, Derrick Mayoleth completed his 100 mile paddle around Devil’s Lake to mark the anniversary. What does it take to paddle 100 miles around Devil’s Lake.. Well, persistence and a willingness to paddle in any weather. We’ve posted a gallery of nearly 200 photos showing the season’s changing from autumn to winter all from the sea of a 16 foot kayak. Click here for our Flickr gallery.
Why go kayaking on Devil’s Lake in a snowstorm? Well, you get the experience of paddling in the artic, the high winds, the cold and the snow stinging at your face, but at the end of the day you get to go warm up on your own comfy couch! That’s exactly what I did yesterday for day 24 of my 100 miles to Winter paddle to celebrate Devil’s lake State Park’s 2011 centennial. For the full story and a bit of video click here.
This Saturday from 6 pm to 9pm the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park will be hosting their annual Halloween Candlelight Hike on the north shore of Devil’s Lake State Park. In addition to providing a big bonfire, the Friend’s group will also be selling chili, cocoa, cider and desserts at the Rock Elm shelter which is right near the main north shore parking area. The candlelight hike itself is a short, easy trek which is always fun for the whole family. Read the rest of this entry »
By one account about 300 people attended yesterday’s 9:30 am kick off of Devil’s Lake State Park’s centennial celebration. An estimated 2/3rds of the people in attendance were there to protest the appearance of Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker. Although the crowd of protesters could have easily shouted down the speakers, everyone, including the governor was allowed to speak with very little interruption. Between speakers, the crowd would break out in shouts of “Shame, Shame, Shame” or a chant of “Recall Walker”. Maybe the most apt quote of the day was, “Take a Hike!” Walker appointed DNR secretary Cathy Step also spoke at the event. Read the rest of this entry »
Kick off the Devil’s Lake State Park centennial tomorrow, May 7th, 2011, with a look at it’s prehistoric past. From 10 am and throughout the day the Devil’s Lake State Park Nature center will be hosting a variety of events including flint knapping demonstrations, a presentation on the Effigy Mound Builders, tours of the mounds and more. For details visit DevilsLakeWisconsin.com.
Fires broke out yesterday along the south bluff of Devil’s Lake State Park between 2-3pm. Reports of up to 6 individual blazes on the south shore of the park had fire crews racing to the scene from around the area to assist. Driver’s along Highway 113 near the corners of County Rd DL and South Shore Road could see up to 4 columns of smoke rising from the bluffs. Although park maintenance crews were blocking driver access to the south shore day use areas, onlookers were gathering at the Roznos Meadow parking lot to watch the smoke rise in the distance. Over the course of the next 2 hours each individual column of smoke began to disappear one by one as fire crews did their work. All the while a spotter plane circled the scene from above. By 5:25pm Devil’s Lake reported all fires were out. The initial cause of the fires seems to have been sparks created by a passing train igniting dry brush along the tracks. A fast response by local fire crews avoided a potential conflagration.
** On a personal note we had witnessed the first large plumes of smoke rise into the air as we were walking the trails of the Merrimac Preserve just to the east. I made nothing of it as I had seen smoke in a similar location just the day before. There are also many controlled burns in the area as part of prairie restoration projects. Smoke in the wilderness does not instantly scream out “emergency” here in the Baraboo hills. Interestingly we watched the fires with mixed feelings. It was obvious how quickly these fires could have spun out of control among the still dry forests and prairie landscapes. It also came to mind that if there is were no property in the area there is something to be said for letting fires run their course. The problem in this area and at this time of year, is that they could quickly get out of control. If not put out quickly the fires would have soon threatened homes and businesses in the area. Again, thankfully our fire crews did a fantastic job. What’s more, rain has begun to fall in the area.
Spring is springing here in the Baraboo Hills! Temperatures in the 50s have been melting away the snow and opening up the water in the lakes and ponds around the area. At Devil’s Lake State Park hundreds of small rivlets and water falls are carrying melt water down from the top of the bluffs and down into the lake below. Here’s a short, raw video of the first real days of spring at the park.
Commentary – If you asked anyone close to the park system, they would tell you Wisconsin state parks are vastly underfunded today. It’s not surprising that parks are low on any governments priority scale of course. So how are they managing? Well, for one thing parks & national resource jobs draw in people who care about what they are doing. Often they put in a lot of personal time to get things done. In addition, some Wisconsin state parks are becoming more and more dependent on their Friends groups. These non-profit, volunteer organizations have been taking over a growing amount of the work that the under staffed parks simply can’t manage. In some cases the Friends Orgs have even helped fund staffing. Many issues such as control of invasive plants within the parks are little more than quixotic tasks for the warriors of lost causes. There’s not enough money or enough feet on the ground. This in part, is why what’s going on in Madison, Wisconsin right now is important to everyone who enjoys our natural areas. Even if we prefer to stay out of politics and keep to the woods. Read the rest of this entry »
After the last Christmas ornament is taken down and the last of the New Year’s confetti is swept from the corners of the floor, the “Now What?” season begins. We’ve entered the time of year when few events take place, when the cold begins to really sink in and day dreams of summer begin to interrupt our work days. Let’s face it, for many of us it’s hard to be a big fan of winter. I’m feeling it too..
Well, don’t despair, spring is just a few short months away. In the mean time, there are a few local events coming up to take your mind off the gray days. Eagle Watching Days kicks off Jan. 14-15 in Sauk-Prairie. January 21-23 will be the 21st anniversary celebration for the Flake Out Festival in Wisconsin Dells. The Flake out is a good time and certainly worth a drive up to Wisconsin Dells. The event offers lots of food & drink, an ice sculpting contest, live music, wagon rides and much more. Click here for details about the Flake Out Festival. On February 5, many Wisconsin state parks will be holding another candlelight ski event including Mirror Lake State Park again. Then, February 11th-13th the annual snow train will be running at Mid-Continent Railway Museum. You’ll need to get your reservations in soon for that. Taking in a local event whenever possible brings a bit of cheerful change to the long winter months.
Of course it helps to learn to enjoy outdoor recreation in the winter months as well. Why not learn to downhill ski this year at Devil’s Head Resort or Cascade Mountain. We’ve promised our son he’d get to sample snowshoeing, downhill skiing and be able run the tube hill at Cascade Mountain before the season is up. (One thing is sure, we’ll go during the week when the cost is $22 all day, as opposed to the weekend when they charge $22 for 2 hours!) Setting activity goals for the winter helps provide something to look forward to.
You could also head out to Devil’s Lake State Park for a bit of sledding on the big hill in the Quartzite Campground. We like to take our plastic kayaks out there for an occasional run. What a blast! Oh, and of course there’s all those miles of trails to explore by ski or snowshoe! It’s worth renting gear to see if you like it, but gear for either sport is not that expensive and it’s best to buy as soon as you feel committed. (Locally it costs about $15 to rent snowshoes for a day.) Of course lots of folks are out snowmobiling and ice fishing as well this time of year. We’ve had a bit of snow overnight so let’s hope the snowmobile trails will open up again here soon!
The real trick to surviving the “Now What?” season is simply staying busy. Get outdoors, even if you’re not a big fan of winter. Play, walk, take a long drive, explore… If you just stay active, the late grey months of winter will soon be over. I promise.