Hiking Trails WI South Central WI Hiking

Hiking Fern Dell Gorge

fern dell gorge
Hiking Trails in Wisconsin:

Fern Dell Gorge is one of Wisconsin’s lesser-known hiking locations.

Imagine my surprise to find out the gorge is within Mirror Lake State Park and just a couple of miles from Devil’s Lake State Park.  I have been to Mirror Lake on numerous occasions.  How did I not know that this existed?

Hiking Fern Dell Gorge Wisconsin
Following the Marked Trail:

About halfway around the trail, we noticed an area where water must runoff during rainstorms.  It was an easy decision to follow the runoff path down the hill and explore more.

Fern Dell Gorge frozen Mirror Lake Wisconsin State Natural Area

Not Fern Dell Gorge.  But it was a beautiful view, and I am glad we stumbled upon it.

We quickly concluded that the ice was not thick enough to walk on and there was no other way to go forward.   We head back the way we came to finish hiking the trail.

Fern Dell Gorge Wisconsin State Natural Area icicle waterfall main
Fern Dell Gorge:

When we got back to the trail-head, we found our way into Fern Dell Gorge.

Just in case you are wondering and thinking of visiting, keep right next to the parking lot.  Don’t follow the marked trail heading up the hill.  However, if you have the time I suggest hiking both.

I was a little bummed when we first arrived.  The day was overcast, and much of the snow has melted making everything look dirty and brown.

It didn’t take me long to realize my mistake.

Even though it is the middle of January, and I live in Wisconsin, we have had a couple of 50º degree days lately.  It melted much of the snow.  But it is currently cool enough (high of 31º today) to freeze.

Fern Dell Wisconsin Natural Area within Mirror Lake State Park icicle-waterfalls

It was a great day to find icicle-falls.  The ice hanging from the sandstone walls and flowing through the cracks was terrific.  Making me realize, to be thankful for all the different seasons and climates Wisconsin has to offer.

Fern Dell Gorge in Mirror Lake Wisconsin State Park icicle falls
Fern Dell Gorge Natural Area located within Mirror Lake State Park:

A must experience hiking location in Wisconsin.

I am sure this area is spectacular no matter the season or weather conditions.  I look forward to returning and seeing them all.

For Top Hiking Locations in the Area Visit:
Hiking in Wisconsin

External Links:

DNR – Fern Dell Gorge

Fern Dell Gorge Map

Map & Directions to Fern Dell Gorge


When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.

Always give more than you take and leave no trace. 


Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

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