Governor Dodge State Park

Governor Dodge State Park, wi

Governor Dodge, in southwestern Wisconsin, is one of the state's largest state parks, with 5,270 scenic acres of steep hills, bluffs, and deep valleys plus two lakes and a waterfall. It is named after Henry Dodge, the first Territorial Governor. The glaciers of the last Ice Age bypassed this area and left intact valleys sculpted out of 450 million year old sandstone. Human occupation of the area dates back over 8,000 years. 5,000 scenic acres of steep hills, bluffs and deep valleys, plus two lakes offering swimming, fishing and boating (electric motors only). More than 5,000 scenic acres of steep hills, bluffs, and deep valleys plus two lakes and a waterfall make this park a family favorite.

The land is mostly oak and hickory forest with some sandstone bluff outcroppings and one named waterfall. Common activities include boating (electric motors only), fishing, picnicking and swimming on the park's two lakes, Cox Hollow Lake and Twin Valley Lake. There is a boat launch, dam and a swimming area at each of the lakes. Away from the lakes one can find hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, mountain bike trails and horse trails. Seasonal activities include hunting in the fall and snowmobiling in the winter.

Things to do involve camping, canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and flat bottom boating, biking, sledding, horseback riding, hunting, picnicking, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling and swimming among many others. Hike through oak-hickory woods, ride horses over rolling hills, picnic near sandstone bluffs. Governor Dodge State Park has numerous rock features. Some are suitable for climbing, and some (perhaps most) are not. There are 2 main loops open to bikers, both offering incredibly scenic views and challenging terrain. Both are ridable for intermediate.

Governor Dodge State Park teems with wildlife including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, red and grey fox, beaver, woodchucks, raccoons, and muskrats. More than 150 species of birds have been observed. In the woods, the rat-a-tat of the elusive pileated woodpecker can be heard for great distances as it searches for grubs in hollow trees. The tremendous variations in topography, exposures to sunlight, and soil types provide a diverse array of habitats that support many hundreds of interesting plant species. The forests are basically oak-hickory in type, with many dozens of other tree species and shrubs mixed in. The sandstone areas support beautiful white pines, some red pines, and a few Jack pines.

Hiking Trail

  • Gold Mine Hike-Bike-Ski Trail (2.5-mile)
  • Horse Trail (6.7-mile Interior Loop)
  • Horse-Snowmobile Trail (15.3-mile Exterior Loop of the most scenic and remote areas of this 5,270-acre park, connects with the 39-mile Military Ridge snowmobile trail)
  • Lakeview Hike-Ski Trail (1.25-mile)
  • Lost Canyon Hike-Ski Trail (8.1-mile)
  • Meadow Valley Hike-Bike-Ski Trail ( 6.8-mile)
  • Mill Creek Hike-Bike-Ski Trail ( 3.3-mile, connects with Military Ridge State Trail)
  • Pine Cliff Nature Trail (2-mile)
  • Stephens Falls Hiking Trail (0.5 mile, access to Lost Canyon Trail or the Park Road)
  • White Oak Hiking Trail (4.5-mile, At the south end of Cox Hollow Lake, the White Oak Trails joins the Pine Cliff Nature Trail and return to the starting point at Cox Hollow beach)

Map Of Governor Dodge State Park
Camping and Campground Reservation
Friends Of Governor Dodge State Park

Governor Dodge State Park is located 3 miles north of Dodgeville on Hwy 23 North. The park is approximately 45 miles west of Madison. Governor Dodge State Park in the City of Dodgeville - Iowa County (Southwest WI).


Governor Dodge State Park
4175 State Road 23
Dodgeville, WI 53533
United States
(608) 935-2315
Toll Free: 888-947-2757

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