Car Camping is Fun Too


Location: Mirror Lake State Park

Duration: Two nights One night

Companions: One

Date: October 2017


We were going to Wisconsin for a wedding in early October and decided to tack on a little camping trip. I had originally thought we could stay one night at a few different parks, but realized that would be way too much driving on top of traveling from Ohio. Wisconsin has some beautiful state parks and it was hard to choose just one. We settled on Mirror Lake State Park after finding that our other top choices were all booked up (Reserve your campsites in Wisconsin early!). This park has some “walk to” campsites which are really only about 100 ft from the parking lot, however, they are more spread out than the standard sites, so we reserved one for two nights.

We decided to check out the New Glarus Brewery on the way there. Actually, New Glarus is in the opposite direction, but thankfully they open at 11am, which left us plenty of time to have a couple beers, tour the brewery, and get to the campsite before dark. Not only was it worth it for the beer and the scenery, but also the drive through the country up to the park was gorgeous and relaxing. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we spent the drive enjoying the scenery, pointing out the old red barns, herds of cows, and vast rolling hills along the way.

We had no plan for food, so we found a grocery store in Baraboo and I don’t know…just grabbed a bunch of stuff. One huge plus of car camping is that you can pack way more food (and beer). We had absolutely no plan, but ended up having some delicious meals.


We had the forethought to set up camp and get a fire going right away. It started raining just as I was putting the last stake in the tarp. Then it poured. We stood under the tarp for an hour or two, keeping the fire going and taking swigs of Jim Beam, while trying to figure out what to do about dinner. I ended up just chopping up vegetables on the little side table of the camping chairs we borrowed from my parents. Car camping perk number two: fancy chairs! We had grabbed a roll of aluminum foil at the grocery store and decided we could just cook everything in foil packs on the fire, even if it keeps raining. It ended up working great and the rain stopped as dinner finished cooking. We stoked up the fire and feasted.

These are actually pictures of our breakfast because it was dark and rainy for dinner. Breakfast was eggs and avocado with the sausages and vegetables from dinner anyway. They were pretty much the same meal. Turns out there was a huge thunderstorm on the way so after much debate, we decided to pack up and spend time with my parents rather then spending the night huddled under a tarp again.

Before heading out, we took a stroll on the Echo Rock hiking trail. This short trail had a great view of the lake, beautiful trees, and some really cool rock formations. Most of the other tent campers had cleared out because of the coming storm, so our hike was very secluded and quiet. I really liked this park and would stay here again. The campsites were clean and well maintained. It also seemed less popular and more low-key than other places in the Wisconsin Dells area. We even got to have a free hot shower before meeting up with my parents.

We rounded out the trip by going to Devils Lake Sate Park, Carr Valley Cheese, and a fish fry at Sunset Harbor Bar and Grill on Lake Wisconsin.

I grew up in Wisconsin. I love Wisconsin. Whenever I visit, I tend to pack in as many activities in as possible. There is so much to do and see; however, some of my favorite moments are the quiet in between times like riding in the car through the countryside or sitting in the campsite waiting for everyone to wake up in the morning. It is during these unplanned, uneventful moments where I can truly appreciate the beauty of my home state.

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