Merrimac Live Cam

Breathtaking panoramic views of the scenic Wisconsin landscape


Hosted by:
  • Devil's Head Resort
  • S6330 Bluff Road - Merrimac
  • Wisconsin 53561 - United States
  • 608-493-2204
  • [email protected]

Devil's Lake History

Devil's Lake is a natural lake located in the Baraboo Hills of Sauk County, Wisconsin, USA. The lake has a unique history, steeped in geological and cultural significance.

The lake was formed over 12,000 years ago during the last Ice Age when a glacier blocked the drainage of an ancient river, creating a large basin. Over time, this basin filled with water, forming the lake that we know today.

The Ho-Chunk people, also known as the Winnebago tribe, have a rich cultural history associated with the lake. They consider it to be a sacred site and have several legends and creation stories associated with it. They believed that the lake was created by a great spirit who came down from the sky and brought water with him, filling the basin with his tears.

In the early 19th century, the lake became a popular tourist destination for people seeking relaxation and natural beauty. A resort was built on the shores of the lake in the 1860s, and the area became a hub for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming.

In the early 20th century, Devil's Lake became a state park, and efforts were made to preserve the area's natural beauty and protect it from overdevelopment. Today, Devil's Lake State Park is one of the most popular outdoor recreation destinations in Wisconsin, attracting over a million visitors annually. The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, camping, rock climbing, and swimming. However, the name "Devil's Lake" has a controversial history, as it is believed to be a mistranslation of the Ho-Chunk name for the lake, which actually means "Sacred Lake." Many people today are advocating for the name to be changed back to its original Ho-Chunk name, in order to honor the cultural heritage of the lake and the people who consider it sacred.

Devil's Lake Top Tourist Attractions

Devil's Lake State Park, located in the Baraboo Hills of Wisconsin, is one of the top tourist attractions in the state, offering visitors a wide variety of recreational activities and natural beauty. Here are some of the top attractions at Devil's Lake:

  • Devil's Lake: The lake itself is the main attraction, with its crystal-clear waters, stunning bluffs, and sandy beaches. Visitors can swim, fish, kayak, or paddleboard in the lake's waters, or simply relax and take in the beautiful scenery.
  • Hiking Trails: Devil's Lake State Park is home to over 29 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. The most popular trails include the East Bluff Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the lake from high above, and the Balanced Rock Trail, which leads visitors past a unique geological formation.
  • Rock Climbing: Devil's Lake is one of the premier rock climbing destinations in the Midwest, with over 1,600 climbing routes available for all skill levels. Climbers come from all over the world to test their skills on the park's steep bluffs.
  • Camping: Devil's Lake State Park offers a variety of camping options, from rustic tent sites to fully-equipped cabins. There are over 400 campsites available, making it easy for visitors to stay overnight and enjoy all the park has to offer.
  • Nature Center: The park's Nature Center offers educational exhibits, live animals, and interactive displays that teach visitors about the park's geology, wildlife, and cultural history.
  • Ice Age Trail: Devil's Lake State Park is a section of the Ice Age Trail, a 1,200-mile trail that winds through Wisconsin and showcases the state's unique glacial history. Visitors can hike or snowshoe along the Ice Age Trail to explore the park's natural beauty.
  • Beaches: Devil's Lake State Park has two sandy beaches where visitors can relax and soak up the sun. North Shore Beach and South Shore Beach offer swimming, picnicking, and other beach activities.
  • Fishing: Devil's Lake is a popular destination for anglers, with over 10 species of fish available in its waters. Visitors can fish from shore or by boat, with fishing equipment available for rent at the park.

These are just a few of the top tourist attractions at Devil's Lake State Park, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of Wisconsin.

Devil's Lake Climate

The climate at Devil's Lake, Wisconsin is classified as humid continental, characterized by warm summers and cold winters. The area receives an average of 34 inches of precipitation per year, with most of it falling as snow during the winter months.

In the summer, temperatures at Devil's Lake can range from the mid-60s to the high 80s Fahrenheit (around 18 to 31 degrees Celsius), with occasional heatwaves that bring temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (around 32 degrees Celsius). Summer is the busiest season at the park, with visitors coming to enjoy the lake and outdoor activities.

Winter temperatures can be quite cold, with average highs in the 20s to 30s Fahrenheit (around -6 to -1 degrees Celsius) and lows in the single digits and below zero Fahrenheit (around -18 to -23 degrees Celsius). Snow is common during the winter months, and the park offers opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter sports.

Spring and fall can be mild and pleasant at Devil's Lake, with temperatures ranging from the 40s to 60s Fahrenheit (around 4 to 18 degrees Celsius). These seasons offer opportunities to see the changing colors of the leaves and the blooming of wildflowers in the park. Overall, visitors to Devil's Lake should be prepared for a range of weather conditions depending on the season, and should check the forecast before visiting the park to ensure they bring appropriate clothing and gear.

Devil's Lake Geography

Devil's Lake is a natural freshwater lake located in the Baraboo Hills of Sauk County, Wisconsin. The lake is surrounded by steep quartzite bluffs that rise up to 500 feet above the water and provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

The lake is roughly 360 acres in size, with a maximum depth of 47 feet. It is fed by several small streams and springs, and its waters flow out through the Devil's Lake Creek to the Wisconsin River.

The area around Devil's Lake was formed by glacial activity during the last Ice Age, which deposited layers of sediment and carved out the valleys and bluffs that make up the landscape today. The bluffs around Devil's Lake are made of Baraboo quartzite, a hard, erosion-resistant rock that has been shaped over millions of years by weathering and erosion.

The park surrounding Devil's Lake encompasses over 9,000 acres of forest, prairie, and wetlands, and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. The park is also part of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, which showcases the unique geology and glacial history of Wisconsin. Overall, the geology and geography of Devil's Lake and its surrounding park make it a unique and beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.