Governor Dodge State Park – Picturesque Hiking | Lodi Silent Sports

by wendysoucie on September 14, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

kurt eakle copyright panorama governor dodge _dsc1966-69b

Governor Dodge Panorama - Image and copyright by Kurt Eakle

You can’t ask for a better day or a better spot for hiking than Governor Dodge State Park. With nearly 40 miles of trails in the park it is one of the largest in Wisconsin, and very accessible from Lodi.  And so our group, with a few new faces, drove south  to the Spring Green area to explore by foot what Governor Dodge had to offer.

Miles of Trails

Leaders Dean Schwarz and Dierk Van Cleef determine route

Leaders Dean Schwarz and Dierk Van Cleef determine route

With 40 miles of trails, there seems to be something for everyone. Our biggest problem was deciding which trail or trails to do while we were there.  Many of them are open to  cross-country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling. All are open to hiking, except hiking is not allowed on ski trails when they are snow covered.  That apparently was not our worry on this August 29th trip. Although bugs were!

The Park

According to the DNR website:

Governor Dodge, in the Western Coulee and Ridges landscape of Wisconsin, is one of the state’s largest parks, with 5,270 scenic acres of steep hills, bluffs, and deep valleys plus two lakes and a waterfall.

Due to certain geological “quirks of fate,” southwestern Wisconsin was bypassed and encircled by the four glaciers. The area, therefore, stands as an “island” of hills and valleys amid surrounding plains.

The term “Driftless Area” is given to this region because it is devoid of drift or the accumulated rock and soil left by retreating glaciers. More than 5,000 acres of this unique “island” make up Governor Dodge State

Sandstone Bluff at Governor Dodge State Park - Image and copyright by Kurt Eakle

Sandstone Bluff (Governor Dodge) - Image and copyright by Kurt Eakle

Park. As you make your way through this magnificent park, you make your way through time itself.

Water abounds

During the hike we had many opportunities to see water with the two manmade lakes.  The lakes seem offer excellent fishing according to the people we stopped to talk to. Species include bass, walleye, muskie, and panfish. Fishing licenses are required and may be purchased at local bait shops. Consult the current fishing regulations for special size and bag limits.

Waterfall (Governor Dodge) image and Copyright by Kurt Eakle

Waterfall (Governor Dodge) image and Copyright by Kurt Eakle

Had we brought our swim suits we could have indulged with a beach swim at both lakes. The beaches and bathhouses are open from 6 am to 11pm.  No lifeguards are on duty so bring your own and be safe.

Upcoming Fall Hikes

The Saunter Group is planning more fall hikes that might extend 50 miles from Lodi in order to see some more State Natural Areas, more Ice Age Trail Segments, and more outdoors of our great Wisconsin. Come join us. We generally meet at the Blue Spoon in Prairie du Sac between 8 am and 8:30 am.

 

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