Family Camping at Mirror Lake State Park, July 2015
I just returned from a four-day weekend trip to Wisconsin Dells (Thursday to Sunday) with my family and another family of friends. We tent camped at Mirror Lake State Park, which is less than two miles from the downtown Wisconsin Dells area. We had group campsite 302, which I reserved online in February 2015. The cost of the campsite for four days was $120.00 plus an additional vehicle fee charge of $30-$35 per vehicle.
Things we liked about the group campsite:
- Large campfire ring
- Fixed lantern pole
- Four large picnic tables
- Lots of space for tents, and the website says most group sites can accommodate up to 70 campers.
- Friendly and outgoing campground hosts.
- Fixed benches surrounding the campfire area.
- Wooded with large mature trees that provided ample shade, while being open to breeze since the area is not entirely boxed in by vegetation.
The few group campground drawbacks:
- All group sites are cart in, with vehicles restricted to the parking lot.
- There was not always enough parking.
- The campsites are sandy.
- The bathroom facilities were nice, but not well ventilated. There were individual shower stalls, but the water temperature was not adjustable and came out hot to where you need to be careful bathing small children.
Things we liked about the park:
- The bundles of purchased wood were substantial and worth the price.
- We assisted a family who were locked of their car and the local campground hosts and Ranger staff was quick to respond.
- It was located close to the Downtown Wisconsin Dells area.
- Several nice picnic areas, and adequate shade.
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a nice “Wisconsin Explorer” program for kids. There are free books available at the park office with three different books, each designed with age appropriate activities. When children complete all the activities in the book they earn a patch.
- There is a large number of individual campsites, and another campground with electric sites.
Wildlife observed: Native and migrating birds including geese, bald eagles, and hawks. We saw plenty of toads, a raccoon, and a mole was burrowing around our campsite. Several species of butterfly and moths passed through, and there were lots of various insects.
Activities: Hiking, swim beach, fishing dock and rentals for canoe/kayak/and pontoon boats.
We drove around to scope out some of the other campsites. The campground cabin amazed me. While it doesn’t fit the needs of my family, I wanted to mention it because of its special design. The cabin is equipped for the disabled, and it’s more than just a cabin fitted with a wheelchair ramp. The cabin was designed by a committee of people with disabilities, and features a small kitchen with accessible countertops, a two-burner stove, microwave, and refrigerator. There is one bedroom with two hospital beds, a futon, with cots also available, allowing the cabin to accommodate eight. The bathroom has a wheel-in shower, a fold down bench and shower-commode chair. There is a Hoyer lift installed for use throughout the cabin. Reservations for the cabin are made through special reservation starting each year on January 10th. The cabin is open from May 10th through October 10th. I think this camper cabin is a terrific lodging option for families with a disabled family member planning a trip to the Dells.
With our group of ten, we did not need all the space we had. I think we might consider reserving two of the side-by-side electric sites next year (specifically 135 and 136). While we really liked the benches at the group site, it would be nice to have electric, a dedicated parking space, and no need to haul gear to and from the campsite by cart.
Mirror Lake State Park, E10320 Fern Dell Rd.,Baraboo WI, 53913, 608-254-2333