COVID-19 Related Updates

  • Vehicle Admission Sticker is REQUIRED. When the park office is closed, daily or annual park stickers may be purchased at the self-registration station.
  • Bathrooms are OPEN.
  • Camping is available. ALL campsites are reservable.
  • Face coverings are required when inside any building if you are not vacinated.

For more information visit:

Please be considerate to all. Practice social distancing. Stay Well!

Friends of Governor Dodge State Park 2020 Accomplishments

We are proud to note the many accomplishments that happened in 2020. Let's give a big THANK YOU to all involved!

Read on to see the list.

Firewood Sales:
-Developed a no-contact firewood sales protocol in accordance with DNR’s Concession Reopening guidelines, allowing resumption of firewood sales on-site to park visitors as of July 1. From July 1-November 1, firewood sales generated  approximately $14,000 in profits, used to benefit park facilities and programs

Major Construction Project:
-Future equestrian campground project continued with intensive planning and collaboration between equestrian committee and DNR. A phased construction plan was approved by the DNR, with construction timetable options to protect endangered species were created by DNR. Archaeological site survey was conducted by DNR with no archaeologically significant findings. 
-Contracted with landscape architecture firm Parkitecture and Planning to create plan, handle permit process, and provide construction oversight. 
-Friends opened a second endowment fund ($15,000 initial deposit) designated specifically for future maintenance of the new equestrian campground and to support other park projects benefiting equestrian users.
-Construction cost estimates/bidding to be sought in late 2020

Facilities improvement:
-Initiated significant repairs and improvements on multiple sections of the following multi-use trails: Driftless, Old Orchard and Woodland, with funding assistance from a Wisconsin Horse Council Trails grant and thanks to the expertise of park maintenance personnel
-Ongoing entrance prairie maintenance with assistance from local Master Gardeners
-Planned, prepped and planted a native plant bed with rock sculpture at a trailhead shared by horse day riders, hikers and rock climbers
-Built birdhouses and bat houses
-Spring (and fall ?) Adopt a Highway cleanup

Public relations outreach: 
-Continued membership in Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce. President Jean Warrior spoke at Chamber Board meeting on Feb 18.  FOGD representatives attended the Dodgeville Chamber’s annual dinner on Feb. 20. 
-Continued membership in the Spring Green Area Chamber of Commerce. Friends representatives attended SGACC’s annual dinner on March 5th.
-Began membership in Madison Area Chamber of Commerce and attended Chamber 101 New Member orientation on February 4th. 
-Published articles and photos in Dodgeville Chronicle, The Country Today, Wisconsin Horse Council newsletter 
-Attended multiple horse club meetings throughout SW Wisconsin and tack sales in Jefferson, Waukesha and Dodgeville to network, fundraise, and sell trail passes
-Created and sent periodic mailings via Mailchimp
-Created Friends newsletter
-Advertised in Dodgeville Chamber’s and Lafayette County’s visitor’s guides

Services Funded:
-Funded extra spring and fall hours for park maintenance staff ($4,025)
-Funded printing of self-guided hike and Governor Dodge highlights brochures, 60 Things to do at Governor Dodge, and newsletters for distribution at park office

-Planned and prepped January Candlelight Ski 
-Planned, re-scheduled, and then totally re-imagined the equestrian committee annual fundraiser as an “on your own” treasure hunt, photo scavenger hunt and online auction. A record 148 riders and hikers registered. 
-Due to pandemic restrictions, several events were canceled including shared trails open house, Smokey Bear birthday party and fire safety awareness program, and Columbus Day candlelight hike. 

-Applied for and received multiple grants for new equestrian campground construction and amenities, including the federally- funded Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for $45,000,   Knowles Nelson Stewardship Friends fund for $20,000, Alliant Community Foundation for $2,000 and a Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) Incentive matching grant for $1,000
-Received a $50,000 matching gift from anonymous park supporters for the equestrian campground fund
-Applied for and received a $2,300 grant for trail repairs and improvements from the Wisconsin Horse Council Trails committee  
-Equestrian committee sold 465 trail passes through a combination of on-line and in person sales, generating $2,325
-Equestrian committee’s re-imagined fundraiser yielded $12,000 from sponsorships, registrations and online auction proceeds. 

-Friends members met with Wisconsin Senator Howard Marklein at his office on February 26, and sent a written update in October to keep the Senator informed about equestrian campground status
-President Jean Warrior presented at the Town of Dodgeville Board meeting on Feb 3 on Friends activities and status of equestrian campground project
-Letters were sent to the Iowa County Board, Dodgeville Mayor Todd Novak, and the Dodgeville Town Board in October updating on equestrian campground status. Letters informed recipients about the 2020 RTP grant award and the importance of the County and Town’s Comprehensive plans in our project being chosen for funding. Letters requested that County and Town continue recognizing the importance of GDSP in future versions of Comprehensive Development Plans.