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Winter Recreation

Mirror Lake State Park

Mirror Lake State ParkWinter Trail at Mirror Lake State Park.

Mirror Lake State Park provides numerous opportunities for winter recreation including trails groomed for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking trails, winter camping and ice fishing. Be aware, park staff do not monitor ice conditions on the lake. Be extremely cautious of ice conditions at all times. Mirror Lake's bike trails are closed to bikes from Nov. 1 through April 30. 

Mirror Lake winter map

Cross-country skiing

During winter, Mirror Lake State Park has 18 miles of trail that are groomed for a combination of both skate- and classic-skiing, and one mile of trail groomed for classic skiing. A state trail pass is required for skiers 16 years of age and older.

Snowshoers, hikers, pets and bikers must keep off the ski trails.

For grooming information, see Mirror Lake cross-country ski trail conditions.

Fern Dell trail (3 miles)

This three-mile loop trail south of the park office is open to hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The trailhead along with a small parking lot is located on Hastings Road, 0.25-miles south of the park office.

Hastings trail (2 miles)

This 2-mile loop trail south of the park office is open to hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. This trail can be accessed from the Fern Dell trailhead or from the Pioneer Trail.

Ishnala trail (2.2 miles)

The Ishnala trail is in the northern part of the park and connects to the Echo Rock trail.

Kilbourn trail (0.8 miles)

This trail begins at the beach and connects through the Bluewater Bay Family and Group Camp campgrounds and goes past the park amphitheater.

Newport trail (1 mile)

The Newport trail begins at the beach picnic area and travels next to the lake and park office.

Northwest trail (2.3 miles)

The northwest trail is a loop trail that begins near the park office.  It is the most difficult trail in the park with some steep rolling hills through sandstone rock outcroppings.

Pinecone pass (0.4 miles)

This short trail connects to the other biking/ski loop trails.

Pioneer trail and pass (1.6 miles)

This trail begins near the Kilbourn trail parking lot and loops through the middle of the park.

Ringling pass (0.3 miles)

This trail cuts through the Northwest trail to make for a shorter loop.

Turtleville trail (2.4 miles)

This 2.4-mile loop trail south of the park office is open to hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. This trail can be accessed from the trailhead parking lot on Mirror Lake Road near the Wild Rice trail connector or at the trail crossing with Fern Dell Trail.

Wildwood pass (0.6 miles)

This trail cuts through the Northwest trail to make for a shorter loop.

Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking

Snowshoers and hikers are welcome throughout the park and on trails not groomed for skiing. The Sandstone Trail (2 miles), Pulpit Rock Trail (0.7 miles) and the Wild Rice Trail (0.6 miles) are easy trails that are popular with snowshoers.

Echo Rock trail (0.6 miles)

This trail begins at the boat landing parking areas. Echo Rock Trail offers a scenic vista of Mirror Lake and a connection to the Cliffwood Coulee Trail and the 150-foot clear-span bridge over the Mirror Lake Gorge. Please note: there is no hiking on the trail to the north of and under the bridge as the Ishnala trail is groomed for cross-country skiing only. Echo Rock Trail is also a part of the Sandstone Trail Loop.

Cliffwood Coulee Trail (0.4 miles)

This easy trail connects the Echo Rock Trail with the Sandstone Campground and is a part of the Sandstone Trail Loop. Cliffwood Coulee trail provides beautiful overlooks into the Mirror Lake Gorge.

Lakeview trail (0.2 miles)

This short trail connects the boat landing with the winter recreation area (beach/picnic area) and is part of the Sandstone Trail Loop.

Pulpit Rock trail (0.7 miles)

This short trail starts and returns to the Fern Dell Gorge State Natural Area parking lot, about 0.75 miles west of the park office on Fern Dell Road. The trail takes you to the top of Pulpit Rock where you can look down over the “Narrows of Mirror Lake” and Fern Dell with signed history and geology stops along the way.

Wild Rice trail (0.8 miles)

This trail goes by the southern part of Mirror Lake. Wild Rice Trail traverses in a figure 8 style loop. Parking is located across the street from the trailhead in the Mirror Lake Road Parking Lot. Please note: hiking and snowshoeing is prohibited on the adjacent Turtleville trail as it is groomed for cross-country skiing only.

Bluff-Canyon trail (2.1 miles)

The Bluff-Canyon Trail is located on the northwest side of Mirror Lake and can be accessed by a parking lot off State Hwy. 23. This 2.1-mile trail loop goes through the park's woodlands and offers terrific views as it parallels the canyon narrows and Mirror Lake. 

Lakeview Ridge trail (0.4 miles)

The Lakeview Ridge Trail is a shortcut trail between the Bluff- Canyon Trail loop.