With more than 5,000 acres of steep bluffs, scenic valleys, and picture-perfect lakes, Governor Dodge State Park is one of the largest state parks in Wisconsin. Located just to the north of Dodgeville, it's easily accessible from Madison and is the ideal spot for a weekend getaway (or something a little longer).
When you visit Governor Dodge State Park you can hike along 40-odd miles of trails, swim and fish in two man-made lakes, indulge in a host of winter sports, and just enjoy the serenity of nature. And with two campgrounds and more than 260 campsites available, the park is perfect for RV camping.
So, why not find yourself a rental RV near Governor Dodge State Park and start planning your next camping vacation?
With 5,270 acres of pristine terrain to explore, you shouldn't have any trouble finding something to do in Governor Dodge State Park. Once you've parked your rental RV and set up camp, the first thing you might like to do is set out on foot to explore some of the park's near 40 miles of hiking trails.
At just over a mile long, Lakeview Trail is a pleasant loop that offers great views of your wooded surroundings as well as Cox Hollow Lake. Stephens' Falls Trail, a half-mile trek to a pretty waterfall, is also well worth checking out. And if you're feeling energetic, you'll relish the walk through forests, prairies, and open meadows on the five-mile Meadow Valley Trail.
But if you don't feel like hiking, you don't have to. The majority of trails are also open to mountain biking, and, if you visit in the winter months, you can also take to many trails on cross-country skis or a snowmobile. Just check a park map and trail descriptions to find out which routes you're allowed to take.
When you're not out on the trails, most of the activity in the park centers on its two man-made lakes: Twin Valley Lake and Cox Hollow Lake. Both lakes have boat launch ramps if you want to get out on the water, with electric motors only allowed. You can also rent canoes and row boats on Cox Hollow Lake from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day, as well as on the weekends during spring and fall.
If you feel like dangling a line in the water, bass, walleye, panfish, and more can all be caught here. If you'd prefer to do a spot of swimming yourself and escape the summer heat, both lakes have their own swimming beaches. This is a relaxing way to cool off after a day of activity, but there are no lifeguards on duty, so swim at your own risk.
Camping at Governor Dodge State Park
If you want to camp with an RV at Governor Dodge State Park, book an RV in Iowa County and book yourself a site in one of the park's two campgrounds:
- Twin Valley Campground. This campground features 150 campsites, a little over half of which have electrical hookups. Showers and modern restrooms are centrally located, while vault toilets are also provided. Drinking water is available at various points throughout the campground, while two sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Other features include a kids' playground, a dump station, and six walk-in tent sites. Reservations are required from the start of May through the end of October.
- Cox Hollow Campground. This 118-site campground mostly offers primitive sites with no hookups, but two ADA-accessible sites here do feature electric hookups. There are also a couple of hike-in tent sites, while modern restrooms and showers are provided. Drinking water is available throughout the campground, which also features a kids' playground and an RV dump station. Reservations are required from May through Labor Day.
Exploring the Area
There are so many recreational activities to enjoy in Governor Dodge State Park that you might struggle to find time to fit them all in. But once you're ready to load up your RV rental and hit the road again, you'll find plenty of other attractions worth visiting just a short drive away.
For example, the excellent fishing, swimming, and boating of Yellowstone Lake State Park is just 25 miles to the southeast, while culture vultures can be at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in a little over two hours.
If you'd rather head to a major center, Madison is less than 50 miles to the east. While you're there, make sure you take the time to explore the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, which feature 16 acres of colorful flora. Henry Vilas Zoo is also a great destination for any wildlife lover and a wonderful place to end your Governor Dodge State Park RV camping adventure.