Posted by: kerryl29 | August 12, 2019

Wisconsin: Devil’s Lake State Park

My last Wisconsin entry was posted more than a month ago; there’s no time like the present to get back to the series.  This entry focuses on the second (and final) full day of my time in Wisconsin this past spring, all of which was spent at Devil’s Lake State Park.

The first few hours of this day were forecast to be cloudy and that was borne out.  Despite no chance of a sunrise, I got up early and made the relatively short drive to the park entrance.  There was no one manning the fee station, but I dutifully paid the entrance fee using an ATM-like machine, drove to the parking area serving the head of the East Bluff Trail, grabbed my things and headed out, with the intention of spending as much of the rest of the day exploring this part of the park as the weather would allow.  It’s a steep climb from the trailhead to the point where the trail levels out atop the bluff, hundreds of feet above Devil’s Lake itself, but if you’re fit and determined it doesn’t take very long to conquer the incline.  In no more than 10 minutes I had accomplished this task and began looking in earnest for possible compositions.

East Bluff Trail Intimate, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

The trail meanders through a mixed forest, rich with interesting rock outcroppings and periodic views of the valley that includes Devil’s Lake.  The deciduous trees were still in the budding stage along the trail, which was a bit of a double-edged sword.  There were more bare limbs than might be desirable but views were better than would have been the case if everything was completely leafed out.

Devil’s Lake View Black & White, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

I ended up spending time on the East Bluff Trail–and on several relatively short (but quite steep) secondary trails–well into the afternoon.  The image below is a fairly indicative portrayal of what much of the forested part of the trail feels like.

East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Along the way, I ended up finding a fair number of comparatively intimate scenes that I found quite intriguing.

East Bluff Trail Intimate, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Mushrooms Black & White, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Tree Roots, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Tree Roots Black & White, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

East Bluff Trail Intimate, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

The spur trails that I checked out were plenty interesting in their own right.

Balanced Rock Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Balanced Rock Black & White, Balanced Rock Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Devil’s Doorway, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

By late morning, the sun had made its appearance, and a hazy sunshine would remain in place for most of the rest of the day.  I spent the duration of my time on the East Bluff Trail photographing the still-budding trees in the Devil’s Lake watershed and nearby hillsides far below me, using a telephoto lens.

Budding Trees, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Budding Trees, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Budding Trees & Conifers, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Budding Trees, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Conifer & Scree, East Bluff Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

After I returned to the parking area, following a hike that totaled roughly nine miles, I spent some time looking for images in other parts of the park.  Largely because of the light, I didn’t find all that much until late afternoon.

Overhanging Branch Black & White, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Upland Loop Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Backlit Maple, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Shortly after the image of the backlit maple tree was made, clouds rolled in.  The forecast was for rain later that night and drenching rain the following day.  There would be no sunset this evening and, given the rain forecast for the next 24 hours, I decided to head back to the Chicago area a bit early.

So ended my short–less than two full days–sojourn to Wisconsin.  I hope to return to the north land, perhaps for somewhat longer stretches of time, in the years to come.


Responses

  1. Heard a lot about Devils State Park but never got a chance to visit. I like the pics of mushrooms and the deep long rooted trees.Thanks for sharing these great pics!

    • Thanks very much!

      I’d actually been to Devil’s Lake once before–in the fall, something like 11 or 12 years ago, but I hadn’t been on the East Bluff Trail at all.

  2. Hello –

    I would love an enlarged copy of the black and white photo of Balanced Rock in the backdrop, posted in one of your blogs. It’s amazing!

    Thank you – Deanna

    • Thanks, I’m sending you an e-mail re the above…


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