Below are some answers to common questions about our hikes… If your question is not answered here, just zip out an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
This is our first time at the park, is this a good choice?
If you are planning your very first family vacation to Devil’s Lake State Park we want you to know that you could easily explore the East Bluff Trail or West Bluff Trails on your own or as part of a free Devil’s Lake Nature Center Program. However, if you are more comfortable with a guide, prefer a private tour or just want a unique/private guided experience, then we recommend taking our “Secrets, Stones & Spirits” tour before considering our backcountry hikes.
Can I book for today or tomorrow?
We ask that everyone do their best to reserve at least 2 weeks in advance, (Minimum of 4 days) for the best chance at getting the dates you want.
How fit do we have to be?
We do our best to accommodate your expectations. We’ve created tours for folks of all fitness levels. That said, most “off-trail” hikes involve loose and uneven ground, stooping and stepping over fallen trees and rocks, and of course, hiking up and down hills and should be considered, “Hard” if you’re not used to going off-trail.
Must I Pay In Advance?
Yes. According to our commercial permit with the state, all we must collect fees “off property”, so payment in full is required to book your tour.
When you request a booking, you will receive a follow-up email. This email will confirm the dates and direct you to our payment screen. Once your payment is received, your place on the tour will be confirmed.
Are Kids Full Price?
We want families to get their kids outside! Under most circumstances, families will not be charged for children 14 and under. That said, we do require a minimum of 2 paid participants on most tours. (4 on the “Secrets, Stones & Spirits” tour.)
Scouts, school and other group outings with 10 or more participants should ask about our group rates. (Normally just $5 per child.)
What If I have to cancel?
Cancellations that occur less than 48 hours & no-shows will forfeit all deposits. All other cancellations will be refunded deposit less a $5 per person cancellation fee.
If Devil’s Lake Adventure Hikes cancels your tour, your payment will be refunded in full.
Are pets allowed on your hikes?
No. Pets are not allowed off-trail in Devil’s Lake State Park and are often not allowed in other areas we visit. There are are also various risks involved with taking pets into the backcountry including conflicts with wildlife and the possibility of exchange of diseases between domestic animals and wildlife. While we love our pets, they can’t come with on this trip.
What should we bring?
We’ve got a detailed equipment list right here. Primarily you’ll want good shoes, water, snacks, bug repellent, sun screen, etc., but be sure to review the list.
For “backcountry tours” we can provide some light snacks and have walking sticks, rain ponchos, binoculars and some other gear on hand that you can use as well.
Lastly, we ask that all participants sign a waiver or release form which you can download here. Just sign a copy and turn it in before we head out for the day.
Do we practice ethical hiking?
To ensure that we, as well as generations that follow, have the opportunity to enjoy these “backcountry” experiences, each one of us must share the responsibility of making it so. In fact, a major goal of our tours is to raise awareness to not only the beauty, but the conservation needs in our area.
Our tours must be approved by the park before we are given a commercial permit. Our “backcountry” hiking routes take into account the environmental conditions & health of the areas we explore. Route choices are based many factors and often follow stream beds, accepted climbing routes, well-used animal trails or other durable surfaces. We subscribe to “Leave No Trace” practices.
Our tours often mean we are the only folks in the position to be aware and report damage in the lesser used areas of the park. We also do what we can to clean up and repair any damage we discover while on a tour. Through Skillet Creek Media & DevilsLakeWisconsin.com we volunteer many hours each season to the park. We work with other voluteers to remove and restore unwanted social trails, clear invasive plants and address other issues within Devil’s Lake State Park and local State Natural Areas. We are also an active voice for conservation in part of Wisconsin. We invite you to join us!