2018 Keystone Bullet
2018 Keystone Bullet
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Lake Kegonsa State Park in Wisconsin resides on the shore of Lake Kegonsa, which was a part of the “Ancient Wisconsin River,” a massive river valley. The last great glacier slid over the region, rather than gouging into the soft land, and simply deposited massive boulders and rocks as it retreated north, around 12,000 years ago. The deposited rocks essentially formed natural dams, creating what would eventually become Lake Kegonsa. Kegonsa comes from a Ho-Chunk Native American word that means “lake of many fishes.” Considered one of the world’s most productive fishing lakes, there are regular fishing tournaments held throughout the year.
Close to Madison, about 15 miles northwest, balancing outdoor adventures with socializing and retail shopping in an RV rental is a breeze. Start planning your dream vacation with a search for an RV rental in Dane County, WI.
Surrounded by trees and shrubberies that crowd the shores, Lake Kegonsa State Park encompasses around 3,200 acres. The lake, being an irregular circle and lacking many coves and inlets for protection and high hills, can go from a mirror-finish surface to choppy in a heartbeat when a brisk breeze picks up. In spite of the lack of inlets for fish to take shelter in, the aquatic plant life is plentiful, providing sufficient habitat and food sources for many species of fish. Bluegill, lake sturgeon, largemouth and smallmouth bass, muskie, walleye, and northern pike are typical catches, though there are a few other less-common varieties. A boat launch near the beach invites exploring the lake by water. Kayak, canoes, and small-craft sailboats are the most common vehicle.
Outdoor adventurers with dogs need not miss out on swimming with their dogs. There is a separate beach at which dogs are permitted to swim and enjoy. Owners should, of course, clean up after their pets and keep them on the leash when exiting this area.
Just past the thick strand of trees surrounding the lake are prairies and wetlands. Between the three distinct habitats, birds species are wildly varied, and many birders, ornithologists, and other wildlife enthusiasts enjoy observing these sprightly little creatures. Some, like hawks and ospreys, prefer to soar high above, but will occasionally descend for easy prey. Others prefer the relative safety of wild grasses, trees, or bushes. Small game critters, can too, be enjoyed. In addition to white-tailed deer, which are abundant in the midwest, many foxes, muskrats, opossums, and rabbits roam, these fields may be found at Lake Kegonsa State Park.
When the fierce, icy winter sets in, the fun doesn’t stop. Many people enjoy ice fishing, and if the weather cooperates, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the state park. Several miles of trails wind through the trees. Hunters too can enjoy this park. Though a popular stopover spot for many migratory birds and waterfowl, duck-hunting is not permitted. However, archery-hunting and trapping of small game are allowed, provided that the participants obtain the necessary permits.
Skip the hotel and get closer to nature. Wake up to birdsong and listen to toads croaks as you drift off to sleep. Renting an RV will deliver all that and more. Camping at Lake Kegonsa State Park has the benefit of waterfront. Catch a string of fish and throw them down on a campfire within minutes. With nearly 100 sites to choose from, visitors can select sites in the woods or near the beach. Though running water, flush and vault toilets are available, there are no RV hookups.
Conveniently close by, the Badgerland Campground in Stoughton, boasts water and electric hookups, a swimming pond, a bar for the adults, and planned activities for various age groups.
Viking Village Campground may be a contender to consider. With amenities like a heated swimming pool, streets lined with mature oaks, and boats are allowed at sites, space permitting. One of the older campgrounds in the area, it was established in 1978 and has been continually operated by the same family since then.
Don a “cheesehead hat” and go on a cheese-tasting tour in an RV rental. Wisconsin is famous for cheese and sausages, and of course, there are many small farms and enterprises in the area that produce some of the finest cheeses and sausages in the state. Store-bought varieties cannot compare to genuinely aged cheese. Firefly Coffee and Artisan Cheese in Oregon, WI fuses two products that one would not ordinarily think of pairing, and the end result is a savory, delicious range of dishes served with piping hot coffee. Madison, WI, of course, has several more-traditional cheese shops and other retail options.
Several apple orchards, berry farms, and “you-pick” farms dot the low, flat landscape, and a travel trailer rental makes it easy to explore them all. Find your favorite cider mill. In spite of the hard winters in Wisconsin, grapevines seem to thrive. Wineries, too, are a popular draw for visitors to the state. The Lewis Station Winery in Lake Mills, claims to be the state’s first certified craft winery. Housed in a vintage gas station, complete with an old-timey gas pump out front, the tasting room stocks a range of sweet and dry vintages that’ll delight everyone.