Balanced Rock — A difficult, steep, climbing trail with stone steps on the south face of the East Bluff. Spectacular views of Devil’s Lake with the Balanced Rock formation off to the south of the trail. We met a couple from Illinois who were hiking without their five children. I marveled at how fit the mom was after all those kids. When we said we were librarians, they asked us about our favorite books. (.3 mile, approximate hiking time 1 hour)
East Bluff – A medium effort trail that is asphalt with stone steps as it winds back and forth between the edge of the bluff and the adjacent woods. We walked the portion between Devil’s Doorway and CCC, enjoying the hell out of the flat and also our snack bars.
Devil’s Doorway — This is an easy, level asphalt trail along the edge of the top of the East Bluff to views of Devil’s Lake with drop-offs along the way. There is a notable side trail with stone steps to the Devil’s Doorway rock formation. We talked to three people from my hometown, one of which was having difficulty with the descent due to spatial perception issues from previous brain surgery. They watched and cheered while Shane squeezed through the rock into the doorway itself. (.5 mile, approximate hiking time .25 hour)
CCC – A difficult, steep, climbing trail with stone steps on the south face of the East Bluff with many scenic views. We walked through a narrow passage between two large smooth walls of stone, as did an Asian family whose small son was wearing a Michigan hat. (.6 mile, approximate hiking time 1 hour)
Grottos — A wide, easy going, compacted travel path along the base of the south end of the East Bluff connecting Balanced Rock Trail, Potholes Trail, and the CCC Trails. (.7 mile, approximate hiking time 1.25 hours). We walked the portion between CCC and the south shore, holding hands and eager for ice cream.
Total moving time: 53 minutes
Total elapsed time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Average moving pace: 25:51 minutes per mile
Elevation gain: 522 feet
Elevation loss: 507 feet
Maximum elevation: 1,473 feet
Minimum elevation: 965 feet