Climbing Above Devil’s Lake

The first week I was in Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to spend some time with another vet student who gracefully volunteered her car for an afternoon hiking expedition to Devil’s Lake. I’d wanted to go out there but didn’t have the transportation so had pretty much given up on it.

Devil’s Lake was formed during the last ice age and is a part of the current Ice Age Trail (which has as of this summer been added to my bucket list even though it’s almost 1200 miles long). It’s absolutely gorgeous and used to be part of a river system before being cut off by a natural dam formed by a glacier.

We only had a few hours to play around, so we found some promising rocks to climb and try to find a good view of any trails we could hike.

Now, I’m very afraid of heights, but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to work on it. There were a few moments of paralyzing fear as I realized I was walking on rocks that were balanced precariously so they were straddling large holes in the hillside, but the view and exhilaration was totally worth it.

We actually didn’t find any of the hiking trails, though it was pretty fun to try to help each other find a route down. We had apparently climbed up one of the steepest segments of the hill. Why? Because it was awesome!

Once we got down, we wandered along the railroad track that runs along the eastern side of the lake.

We didn’t find any good hiking trails, but we saw several promising spots for future rock-climbing. It was unfortunately a little bit too steep for us to climb with tennis shoes and no harness.

We walked back along the shoreline, braving the beehives, cricket killers, and scuba-diving classes to walk back to the car.

Wait, isn’t a ‘cricket killer’ just another name for your shoe? No, actually it’s a type of parasitic wasp that lays its eggs preferentially in crickets that it kills and drags back to its lair. In this case, this girl actually found a wolf spider and was dragging it fairly quickly along the rocks (and over my shoe) to get it home in time to feed the kids.


Although I only had a brief look at Devil’s Lake, I appreciated being able to explore it with a new friend and do really want to go back again in the future. Maybe after Eli the Collie and I conquer our shared fear of heights.

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