Surrounded by mixed forests and featuring the crystal clear waters of Mirror Lake, RV travelers of all ages will love the picturesque Mirror Lake State Park. Located in the Wisconsin Dells area, Mirror Lake State Park is a beautiful RV vacation destination. The modern history of the park dates back to the 1860s when Dell Creek was dammed for a watermill to be powered. Primarily known for producing flour, the mill was active from the 1860s until it burnt down in 1957. After the park burnt down, the land became a state park.
The lake is the park's main attraction, and it gets its name from the pristine stillness that the surface of the water holds. You’ll easily be able to find peace within yourself from the calm waters and serene views that will surround you when you visit Mirror Lake State Park in your RV. There are plenty of activities for you to enjoy on the lake as well, including boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming in the lake. Visitors also enjoy the non-water activities at the park. The trails are known for hiking, biking, viewing wildflowers, and watching for some of the local wildlife that calls the park home. When you visit during the offseason, you have the chance to cross-country ski, snowshoe, or just play in the snow.
Mirror Lake State Park is perfect for RV travelers wanting a wide choice of camping options to consider as there are 151 available sites scattered over three different campgrounds. Along with these sites, there is also a group camp and cabins if you are looking for something a little different. Mirror Lake State Park is open all year round, and peak season is from May to October.
RV Rentals in Mirror Lake State Park
Transportation in Mirror Lake State Park
Mirror Lake State Park is situated in a convenient location just off the US-12 to the east and WI-23 to the west. The proximity to these major roads means that it is easy for everyone to get there, no matter where you are coming from. If you don't have a GPS, there are plenty of directional signs on both roads that you can follow when you near the park.
Since Mirror Lake State Park is within the Wisconsin Dells region, there are plenty of places closeby that will make grabbing any last-minute supplies easy. These towns include Lake Delton (around 3.5 miles away), Baraboo (around 9.5 miles away), and Reedsburg (about 12 miles away. The closest major city to Mirror Lake State Park is Madison, which is about 55 miles south.
Once you are inside the park, you should have no trouble dealing with any tight roads or switchbacks since the park is well laid out for RVs to navigate. The dump station is easily accessible, and the mixture of single and double sites means that RVs can be comfortably parked in each site depending on the size of your rig.
Various areas in the park have parking available, but you still might have a hard time finding a spot that’s big enough to accommodate your RV. The best thing to do is set up your RV at a campsite and head out to explore the park in a smaller vehicle.
Campgrounds and parking in Mirror Lake State Park
Campsites in Mirror Lake State Park
If you’re looking for the ideal place to park your RV for a few days at Mirror Lake State Park, then Cliffwood Campground is the perfect spot. This campground features 35 campsites, all of which are reservable online. Out of these sites, 26 of them have electricity for your convenience. Nearby, you’ll find showers for you to wash up at, as well as flush toilets and pit toilets. When you go to make reservations, keep in mind that some of the sites are double sites, which means sharing the parking space. If you want to have a double site, you’ll need to double-check that there your RV suits the requirements for a double space.
Sandstone Ridge Campground
The Sandstone Ridge Campground is perfect for campers who aren’t up for making reservations, or for people who plan on visiting the park in an RV during the offseason. Sandstone Ridge has 68 sites and is open throughout the winter, unlike any of the other campgrounds in the park. Many of the sites at the Sandstone Ridge Campground will provide you with electrical hookups and other amenities close by such as showers and pit toilets. Be aware that the showers and pit toilets are only open during the warmer months, so if you plan on camping during the winter, come prepared for self-contained RV camping.
Bluewater Bay Campground
If you’ve decided that you want to leave the RV behind and come tent camping instead, Bluewater Bay Campground is perfect for you. This campground consists of four different loops, with a total of 63 sites. None of these sites have electricity, so it’ll be a much more primitive camping experience than you might be used to if you stay in an RV all the time. Amenities within the Bluewater Bay Campground include showers, flush toilets, pit toilets, a playground, and sand volleyball court.
15 of the 63 sites at Bluewater Bay Campground are only available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so there is a good chance that you can arrive without a reservation and still be able to stay within the campground. There is also a group camping area that is perfect for larger parties wanting to stay within the park. Bluewater Bay Campground is only open during the peak season.
Seth Peterson Cottage
This cottage was the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house ever to become available for rent, so staying here is guaranteed to be a unique experience. It was designed in 1958 as one of Wright’s last projects, and Seth Peterson was the one that talked him into doing it. Unfortunately, Seth Peterson died before the cottage was completed, so it was renovated and turned into a cottage available for rent. This cottage is the only one available in Mirror Lake State Park, so you’ll want to make reservations way ahead of time to secure your stay.
Seasonal activities in Mirror Lake State Park
There are 19 miles of hiking trails here at the park, and each trail will provide you with a unique experience. Fern Dell Trail is the longest trail at three miles long, and it is designated as a multi-use trail. Hastings Trail is the second-longest at two miles long. If you’re looking for something a little shorter, Hag’s Crag Trail and Lakeview Trail are both just over 1000 feet. No matter what trail you choose from, the trails at Mirror Lake State Park will entertain you for as long as you want to be outside.
If you want to explore the trails but don’t want to do so on foot, you do have the option of taking a bike out on the multi-use trails. Bikers can ride on over nine miles of the trails within the park, but it is important to note that the trails are suitable for off-road bicycles only. If you are wondering what trails you can and can't go riding on, look for the ones that you can, which are marked with a red trail marker.
Boating is an excellent way for you to explore what is on top of Mirror Lake during the summer months. There are two landings at Mirror Lake, and one of them just so happens to be located inside the park. The one in the park also has concessions and boat rentals for you to use, so if you didn't bring a watercraft, you could rent one. Keep in mind, though, that the entire lake is a slow no-wake zone, so keep speeds to a minimum while out on the water.
If you’d like to cool off from the summer heat, there is a beach area that is designated just for those people who want to swim. Here you will be able to splash in the lake without having to worry about watercraft coming too close to your fun. If you need to use the restroom while you’re there, there are vault toilets located nearby. There are no lifeguards on duty at the beach, so remember to swim to your abilities.
When the sun is shining, there are some great options for you to consider if you want to have a relaxing picnic and enjoy the lovely weather. Three areas in Mirror Lake State Park are designated for picnicking, and each area supplies you with tables and charcoal grills for the perfect family meal. If you need a bigger area for a special occasion, there is an accessible picnic shelter that you can reserve online before your trip. It’s by the Bluewater Bay camping area and is large enough to accommodate up to 80 people.
In the wintertime, when snow is covering the ground, many of the trails open for cross-country skiing. There are 19 miles of trails kept groomed so that you can have an enjoyable skiing experience, and there are many more miles of ungroomed trails that are more suited for experienced adventurers. If anyone in your party is under 16 years old and wishes to ski, he or she will need a state trail pass before hitting the groomed paths.
Another great option for travelers wanting to participate in winter activities is to go snowshoeing. You can experience many of the trails this way, and all you need to do is strap on some snowshoes. Two of the best and most popular trails for snowshoeing are Sandstone Trail and Wild Rice Trail. Sandstone Trail is a longer hike at two miles long, while Wild Rice Trail is just over half a mile long. Remember to pack your own snowshoes in your RV, so you don't miss out on all of the fun.
There are plenty of opportunities for fishing here at Mirror Lake State Park. You are welcome to cast out and drop your line in the lake, or if you are looking for more fishing opportunities, you can go and try your luck at Dell Creek. Dell Creek flows for 10.5 miles until it dumps into the lake, so there are plenty of spots along the water to settle in and wait for a bite. There are also fishing piers around the lake so that people of all abilities can enjoy this relaxing activity.
During the regular Wisconsin hunting season, there are areas within Mirror Lake State Park that are open for hunting and trapping. Along with standard game hunting, migratory bird hunting is also a popular activity during the offseason for the first two weeks of November. Be sure that when you go hunting or trapping, you know what areas are open for each activity, and be sure that you follow all rules and regulations for hunting or trapping.
First Day of the Year Hike
Are you thinking about staying at Mirror Lake State Park during the new year? If so, there is an annual event that is well worth your time. Known as the First Day of the Year Hike, the event is organized by the Friends of Mirror Lake group and begins at noon on the first day of the year. Snowshoes are recommended if the snow level is high; snowshoes will make your hike more comfortable. The First Day of the Year Hike welcomes visitors to the park, and coming for this event is a great way to meet some of the locals to learn more about the area from the people who live and play nearby.