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Governor Dodge State Park Camping Guide

Looking for a perfect camping getaway in Governor Dodge State Park? We’ve got you covered! In this camping guide, you’ll find some of the best campsites, activities, and other adventures awaiting in this gorgeous park!

Governor Dodge State Park Camping
Flowing water at Governor Dodge State Park in Wisconsin

What to Expect At Governor Dodge State Park

Within Governor Dodge State Park’s over 5,000 acres, you’ll encounter steep hills, bluffs, and valleys aplenty. You can boat, fish, or swim at the park’s two lakes, visit the scenic waterfall, or traverse the wilderness by foot, bike or off-roading bike, horseback, and even cross-country skiing! This park has it all.

The Complete Guide to Governor Dodge State Park Camping

This state park offers over 300 camping spots and caters to every different kind of camping, including RV, pop-up, equestrian, backpack sites, and standard and group sites. It’s just a matter of picking which one is right for you!

Governor Dodge State Park Autumn Colors
Autumn colors highlight a hillside at Govenor Dodge State Park, Iowa County, Wisconsin

Best Camping Spots

Governor Dodge State Park has two primary campsites—Cox Hollow and Twin Valley—both directly off the Entrance Road and near Cox Hollow Lake, offering 269 standard campsites between them. 80 of these sites are electric hookup, and 2 in each campsite are fully accessible to disabled campers. There are amenities throughout the campgrounds including spigots for water, bathhouses, footpaths, and playgrounds. These sites are praised for being spacious and well laid-out, affording a sense of privacy as well as campground community.

The equestrian campsite offers 18 electric hookups out of its 20 sites, as well as hitching rails, manure bunkers, and a horse-washing station. This campground also has direct access to the park’s more than 20 miles of horseback riding trails. Note: This campground is only available May 1 through November 15.

The group campsites are tent-only and can accommodate between 15 to 40 guests per site. Remote backpacking sites are located a half-mile from the parking lot. All campsites are within walking distance of facilities and water.

39 campsites are made available in the winter, with tent spots plowed as staffing allows.

Limited supplies are available at the Cox Hollow Beach concession stand from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Other needs are supplied year-round by businesses in Dodgeville, located three miles south of the park.

Note: According to some campsite reviews, the campsite bathhouses are not always maintained depending on staffing availability, so you may encounter insects when showering.

Booking

You can book your campsite for your Governor Dodge State Park camping adventure up to 11 months before you plan to visit and as late as the day you arrive. Standard reservations can be made for May 1-October 31. Visit here to book in advance.

Note: If you plan to stay over more than a single night, it is recommended you purchase the out-of-state park decal, which will give you a 50% reduction; otherwise, booking at this park may be a bit pricey.

Things To Do At The Park

Waterfalls at Governor Dodge State Park
Waterfalls at Governor Dodge State Park in Wisconsin

Governor Dodge State Park is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and plenty of thrilling adventures.

When camping here, you can visit the stunning waterfall, relax at the pristine beaches alongside one of the two lakes, hike the more than 40 well-maintained trails, enjoy a delicious picnic at one of the many on-site shelters, and go horseback riding or off-road biking; launch a boat, kayak, or canoe at Cox Lake or Twin Valley Lake, and go fishing for bass, walleye, muskie and more; and, at certain times of the year, the park is open for safe and regulated hunting and trapping excursions.

Looking for activities outside the park? Visit the Museum of Minerals and Crystals, the mind-blowing House on the Rock, Folklore Village, or one of the farms, restaurants, or stables nearby!

Wildlife

Deer in the forest
The red deer (Cervus elaphus) is one of the largest deer species.

Governor Dodge State Park is teeming with beautiful wildlife you’ll be thrilled to see during your camping visit. Some of the most common indigenous wildlife include deer, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, red and gray foxes, beavers, woodchucks, and muskrats, as well as many species of birds.

You’re most likely to spot these beautiful creatures in the fields and woodland edges as you hike, bike, or go horseback riding, particularly in early mornings and late afternoons. Around dusk, you may find yourself encountering lonely coyotes or catching a barred owl’s call.

Vegetation / Geography

This beautiful state park is located in what’s called the “Driftless Area” of Wisconsin. Here you can witness magnificent sandstone bluffs, soaring cliffs, and deep valleys. Unique among the cliffs are lofty white pines, colorful wildflowers, ferns, oak, and so much more. The caves and hills make for a challenging but enjoyable hiking experience, and the waterfall is among the park’s most memorable attributes, drawing visitors from all over!

Make Sure To Bring

When planning your Governor Dodge State Park camping experience, you’ll want to bear in mind any camping commodities you’d like to have on hand, and prepare for any terrain you plan to hike or sights you’d like to see.

You may want to invest in bringing your own water if you are not interested in the park-provided water; if using the bathhouse facilities, you are best off with your favorite soap and shampoo on hand. For hiking purposes, bring appropriate shoes. You may also want to pack a bathing suit and fishing rod for your maritime adventures.

Park Fees

Trail at Governor Dodge State Park
Hiking at Governor Dodge State Park in Wisconsin.

There are a few costs to consider when planning your Governor Dodge State Park Camping adventure:

· A vehicle admission sticker is required.

· Camping rates vary and are based on residency, campsite type, and season.

· A state trail pass is required for bikers and horseback riders 16 years of age and older.

· Hunting and fishing licenses apply.

Reviews

This park holds an average 4.5 rating and is known for its surprising beauty, cleanliness, and how well-maintained its beaches, campsites, and other high-trafficked areas are. It’s popular among backpackers, campers, bikers, and those who are searching for a scenic and memorable state park experience.

Conclusion

We hope this guide helps you feel prepared and excited for your Governor Dodge State Park camping experience! Let us know what kind of camping you plan to do at this beautiful state park!

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