Hiking the Hogsback at Devils Lake – Conquered

by wendysoucie on October 31, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

View from the Hogsback looking northwest onto Devils Lake

View from the Hogsback looking northwest onto Devils Lake (image by Wendy Soucie)

You won’t find this trail on any map of Devils Lake State Park. It’s not one you should take on lightly either since the rock field near the edge of the South Bluff is leaf covered and treacherous. But the unique views of the park from this side are truly breathtaking and worth the extra effort.

Need for a GPS

Hiking Group in the Hogsback of Devils Lake State Park

Hiking Group - Dierk, Kurt, Paul, Greg and Dean (Wendy taking picture)

A fearless group of 6 met at the culdesac at the end of Burma Road, checked batteries and starting points on GPS units, then headed for the South Bluff. There is no existing trail on this part of Devils Lake State Park, but several of the adventurers in this group have made this hike several times before. They assured me that it was best attempted in early spring or fall with much of the brush less “attacking” at these times.

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I know they had hiked this in early spring and I really liked the view as seen through the lens of Photographer Kurt Eakle of the Hogsback. It is one of the motivational factors for doing the hikes with the group – I want to see the spots that Kurt takes pictures of around the area.

Hand holding GPS unit in the woodsI am happy that three hikers had GPS units with them, even though the area was bordered by a gravel road and the South Bluff.  I would not want to have to come down the bluff through that rock fall at all.  I found it challenging enough to make this hike without tripping over some hidden root, stick or rocks covered by leaves.

Rocks of the Ages

Two of the more interesting finds during our hike were some interesting lichens on the quartzite rock near the top and a large rock ridge back in the woods.

Several years ago, I met a professor Jame P. Bennett, also known as @lichenman on Twitter when we were doing a site cleanup on

Lichen on quarzite rock south bluff Devils Lake - Hogsback

Lichen on quartzite rock south bluff Devils Lake - Hogsback (image by Wendy Soucie)

Gibraltar Rock. Ever since then I have paid attention to lichens.  When I saw this rock and lichen growth, I couldn’t resist taking this shot.

As we headed back to the cars, taking several readings and adjustments via GPS along the way, we stumbled upon this ridge of rock. It always makes me appreciate the power of nature when you come across rocks that are this old. Rock outcrop Devils Lake State Park

And now for the Slideshow:

 

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