Governor Dodge State Park is made of 5,350 acres, making it one of Wisconsin’s largest parks. Additionally, it's located in one of Wisconsin's most scenically beautiful areas. Its grand features include two lakes, a beautiful waterfall, deep valleys, steep hills, and bluffs.
These hills and valleys once provided protection from the harsh weather for early inhabitants. As the years went by, this area soon attracted miners, then later, farmers. In 1948, a farmstead was handed over to the state, and slowly but surely all the areas around it were bought and Governor Dodge State Park was born.
Now when you visit in your RV, you can experience all the wonderful things that this park has to offer, like all the native nature and wildlife. Get to see deer, turkeys, and foxes, as well as some smaller animals such as woodchucks, muskrats, and various different species of birds. There are so many activities to enjoy as well. When it’s warm, go hiking, biking, horseback riding, picnicking, and more. When it gets cold and snowy, get out and enjoy all the winter activities such as cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and much more. The best part is that the park is open all year long. There’s so much to do at this park, and you’ll get the most out of it when you stay a while in your RV.
RV Rentals in Governor Dodge State Park
Transportation in Governor Dodge State Park
There are no driving restrictions at Governor Dodge State Park for even the largest of RVs. During the off season, some roads will be closed off, but they are only the roads that go to the closed-off campgrounds. All other roads are kept up with for your safety and enjoyment.
There are plenty of places to park your RV, even if you’re just visiting for the day. Parking lots are scattered all through the park for your convenience, and even when the park begins to get full and parking becomes more difficult, there is overflow parking that becomes available as well.
Campgrounds and parking in Governor Dodge State Park
Campsites in Governor Dodge State Park
In total, there are 269 campsites available at Governor Dodge State Park. Out of that number, 80 of them have electric hookups available. All of these sites are divided into two different campgrounds, and they are Cox Hollow Campground and Twin Valley Campground. Both campgrounds will have a dump station and restrooms and showers nearby.
A few things that you should know are that you need to register at the park office before heading to the campground, and quiet hours are from 11pm to 8am. If you need an accessible site, there are two available at each campground. If you plan on coming camping during the winter time, there are 30 campsites at Twin Valley that they keep open. Some of these sites are even plowed so your RV can get there just fine. During this time of the year, you’ll have electricity, a picnic table, fire ring, and access to pit toilets. RV camping is a great option at Governor Dodge State Park.
There are 11 campsites for those that decide to bring their horses along with them to the park. These sites are located in the Trails End Horse Camp. Keep in mind that you won’t have any electricity during your stay at one of these sites. With only 11 horse campsites available, reservations ahead of time are recommended to guarantee you a place to stay with your horse. This horse campground, as well as the horse trails, are open from May 1st to November 15th.
If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, or you just want to get a bit of a different feel for nature, then you can leave the RV behind completely and go backpack camping. There are six backpacking sites, and in order to reach them, you’ll need to hike at least half a mile from the parking lot. With just six sites, recommendations are highly recommended for this kind of camping as well. If you need to use a toilet or get drinking water, these basic amenities are available closer towards the parking lot.
Seasonal activities in Governor Dodge State Park
As big as this park is, you can be sure to find miles and miles of trails to discover. In fact, there are almost 40 total miles of trails here, all of which are open for anyone who wishes to get out and explore them. Meadow Valley Trail is ive miles long, while Outer Horse Trail is a loop that goes on for over 15 miles. If either of these are too long, there are some that are much shorter too. Check out Stephen’s Falls Trail, which is just .25 miles long, or the half mile Gold Mine Trail. There is a trail to suit everyone here.
Of all of the trails available, eight miles of them are open for off-road bicyclers. The two best trails for biking are Meadow Valley Trail and Mill Creek Trail, as these are designed specifically for this purpose. Keep in mind though that these trails can be challenging, and you’ll need a state trail pass to ride on them.
There are 22 miles of trails that are perfect for taking your horse out on for a ride. You’ll need a state trail pass to do this as well, but once you get out on these trails, you’ll get to experience beautiful scenery of the park that is constantly changing. You’ll never get bored with being on these trails.
At both lakes, you’ll find swim beaches available for you to use. There’s no better way to spend a summer than by the lake, and when you visit the beaches at Governor Dodge State Park, you’ll have bathhouses located nearby for your convenience. The beaches are open from 6am to 11pm everyday.
Swimming isn’t the only thing that the lakes are good for though. Both lakes have boat launch ramps for you to use, but they only allow electric motors. If you wish, you can rent a canoe or kayak from the concession stand, and take one of those out on the water instead.
Cross Country Skiing
There are over 12 miles of ski trails available during the snow season, and there are four trails that are kept groomed so that you can have the best ski experience. These trails are Lakeview, Lost Canyon, Mill Creek and Meadow Valley. Lakeview is the easiest to ski on, while Meadow Valley is the most difficult.
If you wish to go snowshoeing, you can do so on any of the trails except the ones that have been designated for cross country skiing. Some popular places for snowshoeing are the Hickory Ridge Group Camp Area, Uplands Trail, and the Twin Valley Picnic Area. This is a great way to get some exercise even when it’s cold out.
During the winter when the lake freezes over, both of the lakes in the park become available for ice fishing. Make sure that the ice conditions are just right - you’ll want to check that the ice is thick enough in order to fish safely. There is also a bait shop nearby for you to get any supplies you need.
If you’re looking for a great hill for sledding, then look no further than the Twin Valley Beach hill. This hill is a pretty popular place for sledding, but if it’s too popular for your liking, then there are plenty of other hills for you to choose from inside the park.
If you’re looking for a place to take the snowmobile, there is a 15 mile trail in the park that is just perfect. It offers beautifully scenic views that you’ll never get tired of. You can also check out a trail in the park that connects to a 40 mile trail, the Military Ridge Trail.