Photo Contest for Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar 2017

pcoABAqcEThe Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are excited to announce their photo contest for the 2017 calendar!  The Friends are excited to announce a longer contest to allow photos for all seasons.You may submit your entries from now through Wednesday August 31, 2016, midnight. 
The 2017 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar will be featured as part of the December 2016 issue of the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. It will also be featured as an item in the online store.
This is the eigth year the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has sponsored the photography competition.
  • Photographs must portray a specific Wisconsin State Park, Forest, or Trail and cannot include illegal activities (i.e. camping in an unauthorized area). We are looking for photos that show scenes from the parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. Wildlife photos will not score as high as scenery submissions.
  • Only horizontal images will be accepted.
  • Light edits/enhancements only — heavy effects or manipulations will not be considered.
  • Photos must be submitted electronically. All photos must be described on the contest entry form, which must be included with your photos.
  • An entrant must hold all rights to a photograph. For a photo in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release from the subject and include this with the submission.
  • Photographs previously published or pending publication, or photos that violate or infringe upon another person's copyright, are not eligible.
  • You may submit more than one photograph per season and up to four(4) total entries. We do not accept more than one contestant per email address.
  • Employees of the DNR and board members of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.
  • Photos must be the highest resolution possible — a minimum of 1600px x 2000px at 300 dpi.
By entering a photo, you are verifying:
  • The image is your own;
  • The photo has not been altered beyond light editing/enhancements.
  • The photo is not subject to any third party agreements;
  • No laws were violated in obtaining the photo.
How to Enter:
Internet access is required to participate in the contest. Participants must review the full rules before entering any photos. Photos must be submitted electronically. There is no entry fee to participate. No more than four(4) photos may be entered by any one person.
A panel of Friends of Wisconsin State Parks board members and staff will review accepted entries and select the winning photos. Photo awards will be presented at the FWSP Annual Awards banquet to be announced later
Entries must be uploaded by Wednesday August 31, 2016, midnight
By participating in the contest, you hereby grant FWSP unlimited, non-exclusive, irrevocable permission to publish and reproduce your image in media including but not limited to the, website, and promotional materials into perpetuity.perpetuity reserves the right to exclude any photo from the contest.

Please click here to enter your photo(s)

Direct any questions about the Photo Contest to:
Randy Paske
Board of Directors

Patricia Loosen
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Coordinator

2016 Gold Seal Award Contest

Call for Nominations:
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are asking for your vote in this year's contest categories. If you are a camper, biker, hunter, angler, or park visitor, cast your vote for your favorite state park, forest, or trail in the categories below.
The winning parks, forests and trails will be honored with a Gold Seal Award at the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks 20th Anniversary & Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks organization runs the Gold Seal Award program each year to highlight Wisconsin’s parks, trails, and forests.
This year, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have named the following categories:
  • Best park/trail to visit in all 4 seasons
  • Best backpack campsite
  • Best park/trail for adventure sports
  • Best remote state park
  • Best trail with interpretive signage
  • Best “First Day Hike"
  • Best park/trail with an overlook of the property
  • Best park/trail for kids to complete he Explorer Books
  • Best display of maple trees in the fall
  • Best park to offer naturalist programs for campers & visitors
The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks work to promote, protect, preserve, restore, and enhance the State Park System in order to protect state parks and their resources for future generations.

Click to make your nominiation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Loosen – Friends of Wisconsin State Parks coordinator
(608) 264-8994

Focus on Friends–Friends of Mirror Lake

Friends of Mirror Lake State ParkOn June 12,2014, the Friends of Mirror Lake Sate Park, the Department of Natural Resources, and many contributors gathered for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate our collaboration and completion of the New Amphitheater at Mirror Lake State Park.
Two years before,  the Friends of Mirror Lake undertook the biggest project to date for the park – a new seating area for the amphitheater.  Through our fundraising efforts of fire wood and concession sales, ‘The Friends’ donated $50,000 to the project with a $20,000. State matching grant to fully fund the project.    In August, we hosted our first wedding ceremony!
The Friends of Mirror Lake sponsor and staff many events throughout the year at Mirror Lake:
  • Winter hikes – torch lighting, parking cars, greeting visitors
  • Wood Work days – help with making bundles of firewood to be sold to campers
  • Picnic table project – staining and assembling picnic tables
  • Earth Day events – leading a group of volunteers while working the following:
  • Invasive species removal
The Friends of Mirror Lake State Park is organized for the charitable and educational purpose of supporting, assisting and promoting Mirror Lake State Park by providing interpretive, scientific, historical, educational, and related visitor services to the park.
The Friends of Mirror Lake Facebook page is .

Mirror Lake State Park Celebrates 50 Years!

2016 will see the 50th anniversary of the opening of Mirror Lake State Park to the public. While the initial legislation establishing the park was passed five years prior, August 19, 1966 saw the first official visitors to the park. At that time a few trails, some campsites, and beach access to the lake were available for visitors. From those simple beginnings the park has grown to include almost 2200 acres of land holding 150 campsites, 19 miles of trail, a handicapped accessible cabin, beautiful overlooks, a boat landing, world class cross country ski trails, and public access to over 70% of the shore line of Mirror Lake.
Mirror Lake State Park has seen steady growth in visitation, and many families returning year after year to experience all this beautiful place has to offer. We hope to see many future generations continue to build memories as we move into the second half of a century of outdoor recreation. There have been many private land owners, volunteers, visitors, and staff that have come before this current generation that made sacrifices of time, money, property, and certainly no small amount of blood, sweat, and tears, to leave us with the beautiful place we call Mirror Lake.
Make plans to join the Friends of Mirror Lake State Park and Department of Natural Resources staff as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the park’s opening on Saturday August 13, 2016 with a variety of activities to be held at the park amphitheater. Please contact the park office for more information and a list of activities.

Devil’s Lake, Hartman Creek State Parks*

by Jonathon Ringdahl
image_thumb[4]_thumbDevil’s Lake State Park is a beautiful park as many people know. It is Wisconsin’s most visited state parks. Anyone who has been there will tell you why. The towering bluffs rising above the lake are spectacular. The lake possesses very clear water. There is plenty of room to roam around and a great trail network for exploring in Wisconsin’s largest state park. The park contains several campgrounds so people can stay for an extended period because there is so much to see! My favorite sites are those with teepees. I love to stay in them! They come with four cots in each one. There are only two in the park and they tend to be booked up on the weekends well in advance. I would like into reserving one ten months in advance if you want one for a summer weekend. Summer weekdays will give you greater opportunities for a reservation. I love hiking on the top of the bluffs. The views are awesome! The Balanced Rock Trail to the East Bluff Trail is my favorite bluff hike. My favorite overall hike is Parfrey’s Glenn. It is a beautiful gorge that is accessed from a trailhead a little bit of a drive from the lake. It is well worth the drive, however. The gorge will amaze you with its beauty and ends at a small waterfall. I would recommend waterproof boots as the trail can be muddy in places. Beauty is around every corner at Devil’s Lake!
Hartman Creek State Park is centered around a beautiful spring-fed chain of lakes. There are seven lakes with crystal clear waters. With all of these lakes,image_thumb[6]_thumb there ample opportunities for swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and many other water-based recreational pursuits. Several fishing piers have been constructed. There are so many trails to hike as well! The Ice Age National Scenic Trail runs through the park too. My dad and I visited on a rainy day and the park was still beautiful! I can only imagine how beautiful it must be on a nice sunny day. Come for the day or spend the weekend camping here. You are sure to have fun!