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I stayed in the Bluewater Bay campground because after a terrible stay at a state park in Illinois that didn’t have separate spaces for RVers and tent campers, the fact that Bluewater Bay doesn’t have electric was all I needed to know. I was not disappointed. I stayed on a Sunday and Monday night in July and it was very very quiet and even when most the campsites filled up the second day, the fact that there’s dense bush and tree cover between sites means you still feel some sense of solitude. The bugs were bad—bring spray and coils to burn.
The best part about Mirror Lake State Park is the lake itself. I SUP and it was a truly magical lake for a few hours paddle early on a Monday morning. I SUP’d Devil’s Lake the next day and just kept comparing the two—Mirror Lake feels secluded and with its calm waters and cool canyons, this is easily one of the coolest lakes I’ve ever SUP’d. Devil’s Lake is cool, but it was crowded and less magical by far.
Spent four days here as our base of ops. Was great. Lot of nice short trails in the park and a perfect place to take day drives up and down the Mississippi, as well as river tubing (we did the Yellow river, stay further upstream if you do it yourself and the Mississippi is high). Restrooms were pretty clean. All in all, great, 10/10 would go back.
First off, I love this State Park. While the walk-in site I stayed at with my son (263) really isn’t all that far from where you park, it still leaves you surrounded by trees, and secluded from (seeing) other campers.
The site has a gorgeous view as it butts up to a valley with a steep drop off near the site. That said, there are no level spots on the entire site to pitch a tent. The closest we could come was right as you enter the campsite, but that area is full of jagged stones.
There are plenty of areas to attach hammocks if that’s your thing, and there are so many trails, waterfalls, and natural beauty here.
We have stayed here many of times and always had a great trip. The campsite are big and spacious with plenty of room for two tents and a screen tent. The bathrooms are cleaned daily and always in good shape. The campsite comes with a picnic table and a good size fire pit for open grilling. There is so much to do in the area from hiking, boating, fishing, rock climbing and just relaxing. Something for everyone.
Deep and narrow drive-in sites for tents or campers are surrounded by thick woods and brush. Bring mosquito repellent! Stop by the park office if you have kids so they can receive a junior ranger activity kit, or just view photos of lunkers and trophy pike caught in the lake, which does offer boat rentals.
There is not a lot of frill with this campground, but the sites are nice and secluded from one another with great foliage and tree cover. We came during a downpour but were able to move our camper into the trees to keep us a bit drier. It is a smaller campground that is a little bit further away from the craziness of the dells.
The closer you get to the interstate the louder it gets and one of the loops backs right up to the interstate. So be aware if you are booking the loop it will be a constant hum.
The shower building and pit toilets were kept clean and clearly marked when they would be cleaned during the day. I was surprised that they were being cleaned at 530 am as well as another time in the afternoon.
Most of the campground is ideal for tent campground and smaller RVs.
May family tent camped here for the first time this year, 2020. The site (514) was spacious enough for a 10 person, and a 6 person tent. There were enough trees to mostly block out your neighbors, and it’s up on a slight hill so if it does rain the water would drain away from your tent(s).
The state park itself has several trails with varying degrees of difficulty. My son and I opted to take the 4 mile loop around the lake that included the 900 foot assent, and crown back down the face of the ‘mountain’?? The landscape surrounding Devils Lake is gorgeous, and the lake is large, and offers plenty of things to do.
Unfortunately during these COVID-19 times the boat rental was not open, but there was plenty of beach to hang out on.
We will definitely be heading back next year.
On the positive side of things, the sites are (for the most part) secluded from one another with lots of trees. My wife and I stayed in site 10 which is right next to both pit toilets, and a full service shower building. Both are somewhat hidden by the surrounding trees, and there wasn’t any real distracting noise from people using the facilities. The site has a nice flat sandy spot for a 6 person tent; anything larger and you might be hard pressed to make it fit.
On the downside there is constant noise from the nearby interstate, and a fairly active railroad. There are small play sets for kids, and one trail to walk, but not much to see. The draw of this place is obviously the Wis. Dells attractions.
In summary, if you are planning to “do the dells” and just need an inexpensive place to crash for the nice, this place will do.