Over the week of Christmas, we took the kids on two easy, but pretty, hikes just a little north of Madison, Wisconsin. We got so lucky with some warm weather (50 degrees during Christmas week!) and we were determined to make the most of it. If you don’t take advantage of the sunshine days, it makes the Wisconsin winters too long and miserable.
The first hike we did that week was at Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area. We just did a short loop up to the top and back. It was about 1.5 miles. Both of my kids did this hike entirely without difficulty. Unless you consider the 2 yr old stopping leaf and rock a difficulty – JK. We did hear a lot of “look at that big rock” , “ooh big leaf” and so on quotes from him. Pretty cute.
After our hike we went to lunch at Fitz’s on the Lake which isn’t far from there. But, there are so many great spots nearby for picnics!
The 2nd hike we did that week was at Devil’s Lake State Park. It was a cloudy day and a bit colder than we were expecting but it was still a great day.
If you are in the area and have never been to Devil's Lake State park, it is a must do in my opinion. It's such a Wisconsin treasure.
We entered the park at the North Shore entrance. From there we took the West Bluff trail up and back toward the south side of the lake. This trail has elevation and goes to the top of the bluff and back down. This trail is fairly wooded but you are still able to get some great views out over the lake.
When we got to the bottom we took the Tumbled Rocks trail back to our vehicle. This trail, I assume, gets its name from all of the tumbled rocks around it. It is a relatively flat trail along the lake. I’m not sure which trail I liked better, but they provide very different and pretty views! The views are even better when its not winter and there is no color.
In total, we hiked just over 2 miles round trip. Our six year-old daughter was able to go along the entire way with no problem. She was ready to be done by the end but proud of the hike she accomplished. Our two year-old hiked the entire way up but was carried back down due to his lack of a nap that day.
Here is a link to the trail map for Devils Lake State Park: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/devilslake/pdfs/dlparkmap.pdf
*Note: Neither of the trails we hiked at Devil’s Lake this day were stroller friendly but were very do-able with kids*
After our hike we grabbed lunch at Tumbled Rock Brewery & Kitchen. They serve wood-fired pizza along with some other yummy menu items. The Arnold Palmer pizza was our favorite!
On a different day in early March, we were able to take advantage of some unusually warm weather to get back up and explore both Devil’s Lake together with our families.
Sara’s family also visited Gibraltar Rock for the first time recently. She must’ve heard about it being a fun, kid-friendly hike from a certain blog post…. 🙂