Bike Trip to Mirror Lake

Memorial Weekend, 2003

Continuing with the success from 4 Trails bike-camping trip, we planned a trip to Mirror Lake State park, located just north of Baraboo, Wisconsin. It was going to be about 50 road miles so some opted out and drove up Friday night taking all the camping gear with them.

Saturday monring, 7 riders left from Keith and Michelle's on Madison's north-west side. Despite someone biting it before we even left their driveway and another person wiping out on the off-road portion of the trip, we had a safe ride.


We planned to take back roads up to Okee and cross the Wisconsin River on the Merrimac Ferry, a free 15 car cable ferry. Click on the map to the right to see the "proposed" route.

The bright green line was the planned route, crossing on the ferry on WIS 113 then heading north. However, when we arrived in Okee, we found a broken down ferry (ironically, a new ferry christened only a few weeks earlier, replacing a 40-some year old ferry). No one could say what was wrong but it would not even get looked at till Monday.


So we saw two options. A) Cross the railroad bridge parrallel with the ferry's route (a bridge with no foot path and about 1/2 mile long) or B) bike to the next crossing at Pairie Du Sac, adding about 20 miles to the trip.

Unfortunetly, accourding to some - option A was NOT an option - though it was tested. Several persons (ironically the very same who voided option A) created option C) Calling someone from the camp site to come pick them up.

So we were now down to 4 brave/foolish soles who sucked it up and made the 10 mile trip around the freaking river then the an additonal 10 miles to get back on track (see blue line). What we did not realize is how hilly Wisconsin gets north of the river. But after nearly bonking several times, the 4 bikers made it to camp just before dark. Total trip = 72 miles in about 7 hrs.

Mirror Lake State Park is fair. The lake (more like a short river) is kind of sad. The hiking trails are good. The campsites are close together (we heard plenty Lynard Skynard) but the sand pits for the tents are nice.

The food was impressive. We made grilled pizza Saturday night and a breakfast on Sunday that would rival any buffet. We made pancakes and bacon and pancakes with bacon grease and put bacon in the pancakes. The oven made its first apperance with wonderful sweet rolls. All of this food was the catalist for the much controversial "minimalist no-car bike-camping trip" to Dodgeville.

First blood

Road work

Second blood

Action shot

Random dog

Down hill

Very cool

3 biking ladies

Dead fairy

Testing the tracks


No tent poles

Grilled pizza

Martha of the woods

Bright light


The loop

Breakfast potatoes

Cinnamon rolls


The "Original McGriddle"

The dish

Water on the ride home

Heading home

Start House Photos Triathlon How to Xmas Contact