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Topic: Devil's Lake South Bluff-Devil's Nose, Snowshoeing through the "wilderness"< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:23 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The South Bluff of Devil's Lake State Park is probably the closest thing to a "wilderness" here in southern Wisconsin.  The whole area is a designated State Natural Area, and there are no developed trails.  It's a great area to snowshoe in, and I've been planning on hiking there for a while now.  Most of the area, as I suspected, is quite open hardwood forest, not a tangled mess of undergrowth, and is quite easy to hike in without a developed trail, especially with the leaves gone.

Here's a topo map of the area

On Saturday the 9th, I joined a Meetup group snowshoe hike in the South Bluff, though it was way too cloudy/foggy for my liking to take photos.  So on Tuesday the 12th, having some free time and with expected better sky conditions, I went back there to do a follow-up hike on my own and to take some photos.  Well, it was mostly cloudy with some breaks at the start, but eventually the skies did clear out.

Like the group hike, I started at the south shore boat ramp's parking lot (Burma Road, the normal access to the South Bluff, was unplowed).  I followed the group's trail up to two overlooks of the south shore and East Bluff, but past them, I took a different route to the Devil's Nose, the eastern end of the South Bluff.  The group hike headed south, while I went east, following the contours pretty closely.  Probably a little too closely, as I ended up at the edge of the Manley Creek drainage, a rather impressive ravine system in the northern side of the South Bluff.  Rather than take the long way around to get to the other side, I just plunged into the ravine.  I found a reasonably safe way down to the bottom, then headed upstream, soon reaching the top.

Still generally headed east, I continued on until I connected with the group hike's well-defined path. I followed that in the reverse direction to the Devil's Nose.   The group hike headed north from the Nose a bit, then dropped off the bluff via a steep downhill (more slide than walk) to follow the railroad tracks back, but I again veered off in a different direction, heading to what I call the "East Summit" of the South Bluff.  It's a pretty well-defined high point, actually a narrow ridge with downhills all around.  After that I made for the group hike's path again, which was now hard enough to walk on without snowshoes, a good thing since I was pretty tired afther breaking a lot of new trail in dense slush-like snow (not the fluffy powder it was on the 9th).

I really wanted to a full loop of the South Bluff, but that will have to wait until the snow is gone.  :)

First photo:  On the way up to the overlooks.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Still on the way up....

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another....

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Devil's Lake as viewed from the South Bluff

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The southern moraine plug and the East Bluff.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The upper reaches of the Manley Creek drainage.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Down in Manley Creek

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 1:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

View from the Devil's Nose

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 3:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ooh - I like that aerial view of the lake frozen over.  Haven't been to Devil's Lake in a few years, looks like a nice winter hike!

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2013, 9:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great pics. I enjoyed the ones from the group hike the other day too. Wish I would have had the day off as  I would have  joined in on the group hike as I've been missing the snowshoeing  due to lack of snow. Hope to get  some in this weekend up in the Madison area.
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