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Governor Dodge State Park, Dodgeville

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web
Governor Dodge State Park is a 5270acre Wisconsin state park outside Dodgeville in Iowa County, Wisconsin. Named after Henry Dodge, the first governor of the Wisconsin Territory, the park contains geologic features indicative of the Driftless Area. It is located 4.1 miles north of the Central business district of the City of Dodgeville.The land is mostly oak and hickory forest with some sandstone bluff outcroppings and one named waterfall, Stephen's Falls. 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.
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  • We visited for the candlelight hike and it was fantastic. Luminaries line one side of the 1.5 mile Lakeview Trail. There are a few spots when a flashlight was handy so as not to trip on tree roots, bu...  read more »
  • Came to the state park with my friend who took my hiking into the forest part of the park and the view is just amazing! He had a pass so the attraction was free but there was so many people sunbathing...  read more »
  • This state park has it all. Beaches, trails, canoe and kayak rentals. Fishing and swimming. You probably could not even walk on the main road for 8 hours and walk it all. Camping numerous spots. They ...  read more »
  • This is a wonderful state park. They also have backpacking campsites (a 0.5 mile hike from a parking lot) so you can camp without having RVs and neighbors right on top of you. The backpacking sites are often easily bookable too! Wood for campfires is sold right at the park as well. For a great hike, there is a 15+ mile horse trail that winds its way through the park. You'll have it mostly to yourself in my experience, and there are days I do this trail that I don't see another person. Really a great way to see some of the prettier parts of the park that are not reachable on other hiking trails.
  • The campsite in itself was AMAZING! There are a lot of trails, privacy, and the beaches are nice with the option to rent paddleboats, canoes, etc. The only complaints I have about the place are the restrooms by the group sites they smell horrible and the seats were not clean. The actual restrooms weren't bad and had electricity although the showers could be pretty nasty at some point, wear sandals. The biggest complaint I have would be the Rangers. They were extremely rude and they were lying to us telling us the group campsite next to us complained about the noise when we rented that group site out and none of us were even staying on it, then they said well it's the group site next to you...which was the bathroom, then said it was the houses nearby, there are NO houses anywhere close to where we were. To top things off a ranger came out from the woods behind our site. Three rangers crept through the woods and came out all angles like we were going to flee the scene of something. All we were doing was sitting around the fire. The next night a couple of us drove our car to the bathroom since it's about a mile. They cut the car off as if we were playing a game of chicken and asked us 21 questions. They made us all feel like we were on trial. I've been told from several people this isn't uncommon that the sneak through the woods and spy on you. That makes me very uncomfortable and it's creepy. That would be the only reason I wouldn't stay there again.
  • I would rank this as the fourth best Wisconsin state park, after Peninsula, Devils Lake, and Wyalusing respectively. The pros: plenty of long hikes, two warm lakes for good swimming and fishing, waterfall, historic stone spring house refrigerator, spacious camp sites. The cons: bathrooms could be cleaner, only two shower stalls at Cox Hollow that were always occupied. The other parks that I mentioned above have better and more sites to see. I had a bad experience here with the park rangers. There was a huge thunder storm, so my group went to hang out at the beach shelter. We were packing the car to leave at 11:20 pm, and the rangers showed up and berated us for being our after 11. We explained it was just too stay dry, but they gave us a written warning. They have nothing better to do then to overreact about being out 20 mins late.
  • A perfect place to visit & hike. Simply beautiful. Don't leave without hiking down to the waterfall. I spent 2 weeks exploring the state park and there was so much I still didn't get to. A place I will be visiting again soon.
  • This place is amazing! It's so big, there's no way everything it has to offer could be discovered in one trip. We went for a short camping trip and were so pleased with the campgrounds. The individual campsites are secluded offering privacy for campers. There are very close, walk-able shower and bathroom facilities that are much cleaner than most other campgrounds I've been to. In addition to miles of hiking trails there is a huge beach with an adjoining dog beach. I can't say enough about how pleased we were with our trip to Governor Dodge State Park!! We'll be back!
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