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Welcome to the site of the Friends of Governor Dodge State Park!

We hope you enjoy your stay!

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Aerial photo map of Gov Dodge


Painted Turtles on Halverson Pond by Jim Frame This is the official website for the Friends of Governor Dodge State Park. Welcome!

Located just north of the city of Dodgeville, Governor Dodge State Park is a great place to visit. Between the prairies, savannahs, forests and marshes there lie two lakes and many rocky out-croppings. Visitors come to camp, hike, bike, ski, ride horse, swim and fish (just to name a few activities). We love this park and would love to share it with you. Please enjoy this website to learn a little more about ourselves and the park.

Supporting Recreation, Education and Environmental Stewardship

We are a group of volunteers who work to benefit Governor Dodge State Park. Our mission is to support recreation, education and environmental stewardship. For more information about our group, please visit Who are the Friends.

Recent News

1/23/14 - Candlelight Ski has been Cancelled
Due to falling temperatures, the event has been cancelled. We are looking into the options of a re-schedule but as of right now, the event is cancelled. Thank you.

11/16/13 - Fall Update
The park is in winter mode. Photo submissions for th Photo Contest 2013 have ended. Winners will be voted and notified soon. Expect to see hunters in the park through the season. Remember to mark your calendars for the candlelight ski coming up on January 25, 2014!

9/25/13 - Candle Light Hike is coming soon!
On Saturday October 12 from 7-9PM the Friends are proud to once again partner with the park to hold a Candle light Hike in the Cox Hollow area. The trail will be Lakeview trail, a 1.25 mile trail illuminated with candles. Amenities to be provided will be a warm fire, fixin's for smores and concessions for sale. Make sure to bring your warm cheer! Mark your calendars!

3/24/13 - Hwy 23 Construction
Highway 23 will undergo construction between April 8 and May 23. The construction will occur north of the park entrance (Hwy 130 and County Rd C). Access will be limited if arriving from the north. Visitors will still be able to access the park from the south (through Dodgeville). More information can be seen at the Iowa County Highway Department website.

2/17/13 - 2013 Photo Contest Announced and 2012 Winners posted
For those who have not yet noticed, the 2012 Photo Contest winners have been posted. You can also browse through all the entries and winners for 2012 here. Congratulations to all winners and thank you to all entrants!
On a similar note, we are happy to announce we are accepting entries for the 2013 Photo Contest! Specifications are similar to last year. More info can be found on our photo contest page. This years categories include all the seasons. Good luck!

1/14/13 - Candlelight Ski has been Cancelled
Update - due to icy conditions and lack of manageable snow, the Candlelight Ski has been cancelled. Although there is snow on most of the trail, it would become a serious danger at night with so many people. We are sorry the event can not happen this year, but we will try again next year!

11/16/12 - Photo Contest has Ended
A big thank you and a job well done to all entrants! After receiving over 80 submissions, we are in the process of judging all the great photos submitted. It's amazing the diversity of perspectives each of you captured at the park. The winners will be announced soon.

5/29/12 - Photo Contest Announced
Our first endeavor into a photo contest begins this summer. The Friends of Gov Dodge Heart of the Park Photo Contest will have four categories and prizes for the winners. Details and submission form can be found at the Photo Contest web page. We are looking for the best images you can capture over the course of this year. The best entrees may even get posted on this website or Friends publications. Once entrees start to be submitted, a page in the Photo Album will be created to showcase some of your work.

4/25/12 - April Update
Work on the Homestead Trail has made great progress. Thanks to many volunteer hours and help from the park, the area is developing nicely. Recently, the implements were placed and a fence erected. This will soon turn out to be a very popular area thanks to the hard work by everybody.

Making the Homestead Trail, Old Farm Implements

The Friends were proud and thankful to work alongside Dodgeville Boy Scout Troop 165 as a great many cedars were removed from a prairie near the office. Cedar trees are invasive to prairies and make great mulch. The mulch was later placed around the implements on the Homestead Trail (see above). Thanks Troop 165!

Boy Scouts from Dodgeville Troop 165 came to the aid of the Friends Woodchips hauled with the aide of Scout Troop 165

3/2/12 - Friends of Governor Dodge State Park will be accepting applications for a Naturalist
The park is in need of a Naturalist and the Friends want to help. We are excited to announce that we are accepting resumes from interested applicants to fill a Naturalist position at the park. The position duties will include giving presentations as well as organizing guest speakers. More information about the position and info on how to apply can be found here.

12/15/11 - Fall/Winter Newsletter
The Fall/Winter Newsletter has arrived. In this issue is a recap of some of the season's events. The announcement of another Gold Seal Award for the park, the new Homestead Trail opens, Smokey's birthday, Dairyland Dare and the Candlelight Hike. Also is the announcement of new officers and plans for the upcoming Candlelight Ski. Download your copy today!

12/9/11 - Candlelight Ski is Coming!
The Candlelight Ski for 2012 is just around the corner. The Friends are proud to once again help offer such a fun event. The ski will be open to hikers/skiers/snowshoers and whomever else wants to come enjoy the beauty of Governor Dodge State Park in the winter. Come join us Saturday Jan 14, 2012 between 6pm and 9pm. You can find more info here.

9/28/11 - Fall Update
Fall has sprung once again and we are happy to announce our Candle Light Events! The Fall Candle Light Hike will be on Saturday, October 8 from 7:00PM - 9:00PM at the Cox Hollow Beach area. The Winter Candle Light Ski will be on Candle Light Ski for 2011 has been scheduled for Saturday, January 14 from 6:00PM - 9:00PM. We hope to see you there!

6/9/11 - June Update
Summer is in full swing. We are getting our early summer rains, but the heat is coming too! Campers, fishermen, hikers, bikers, horseriders and many more are starting to make their way to southwest Wisconsin. The park is ready for visitors. Consider joining in on the Wisconsin Explorer program for kids, or discovering one of the many geocaches hidden in the park. The park will try to offer a naturalist program every Saturday, stay tuned with the fliers posts in the park kiosks or our calendar for updates. Enjoy your summer!

3/21/11 - March Update
There are many things to update. Seasons are changing and the snow is melting.

  • Our Candlelight Ski was a big success, thanks to all who helped and attended! Even with a small amount of snow, we had a good turn-out.
  • We've reached our initial goal with our endowment. Our seed is planted and now the account can start to grow. Remember, it's always a good time to donate!
  • A new feature for the website - we've introduced a zoomable Aerial Photo Map. The map shows the latest updates to the park boundary and trail corrections.
  • Spring marks the return of Pitch in at the Park work days. The next work day will be April 9th. Help out if you can.
  • Earth Day is just around the corner. We are planning a work day in conjunction with a local school group on Arpil 29th.

1/12/11 - Candlelight Ski is Around the Corner!
The Candlelight ski is just around the corner! Remember, the event will be on Saturday January 15th from 6PM-9PM. We'll hold the event at the Cox Hollow beach area. Event will be held with or without snow, and their will be opportunities for candlelit hiking as well. Hope to see you there!

12/17/10 - Fall/Winter Newsletter
Our Fall/Winter Newsletter for 2010 is ready for viewing. You can find it here. This edition mentions our selection as the 2009 Friends Group of the Year as well as the Park's Gold Seal Award. Alson mentioned is the election results for our new officers, the upcoming Candle Light Ski, and an update about the endowment fund.

Speaking of the endowment fund, now would be a great time to consider a donation that is tax-deductible!

12/9/10 - Winter has arrived
Winter has arrived and the park is in off-season mode. Water is available at the park office, but all other areas have been shut down for the season. Camping is available in Twin Valley campground throughout the year. Ski trails are now closed to hikers and pets, remember there is ample opportunity to hike in many other places just ask at the park office for suggestions. We will try to keep up to date with ski/snow conditions on our Current Conditions page.

Mark your calendars for the 12th Annual Candle Light Ski! The date will be Jan 15th, find out more here.

10/21/10 - Fall Update
Now that Fall has sprung, the leaves have changed and hunting is in full swing. The park is beginning it's seasonal water shut-downs and camping is becoming more limited (see current conditions).

The biggest news is the honor of another Gold Seal Award and the selection of "Friends Group of the Year"! Each year the statewide group Friends of Wisconsin State Parks grants awards for various categories and this year Governor Dodge State park was lucky enough to be selected for Best Green Initiative - Governor Dodge State Park, for solar lighting for the park’s highway entrance sign and memorial flagpole and for using an electric park maintenance vehicle. We are honored for the selection and proud of our accomplishment! You can see a list here of previous awards the park has recieved. The Wisconsin State Park Syaytem also selects certain individuals and groups for awards and this year we were excited to hear that we have been selected as the Friends Group of the Year! The awards will be handed out at the FWSP Annual Awards Banquet on Oct. 22, 2010.

Many people deserved to be thanked for their hard work, donations and sacrifices they make to help our Friends group and Governor Dodge State Park. Nothing is accomplished alone and we couldn't do so many great things without their dedication.
Thank You!

See our Newsletter for more information.

Upcoming Events

For more info see the Calendar

Thursday, May 1, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014

Interpretive program at Gov Dodge
Interpretive program at Gov Dodge
Friends having a picnic

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