This is a beginner level trip of approximately 8 miles per day through the Governor Dodge State Park. The park has plenty of fresh water sources, and we should never be more than a mile from a road. Your $22 covers camping costs for both nights, meetup fees, and firewood for Friday night. You'll need to provide your own food and other provisions, as well as a valid park sticker for your car.
Governor Dodge, in southwestern Wisconsin, is one of the state's largest state parks, with 5,270 scenic acres of steep hills, bluffs, and deep valleys plus two lakes and a waterfall. Governor Dodge maintains nearly 40 miles of trails.
We'll meet up late Friday afternoon and spend the night at sites 21 and 22 in the Cox Hollow Campground at the southwest end of the park. In the morning we'll move hikers and vehicles into place, and begin our hike across rolling hills, with a few steep inclines of about 100 feet. Our hike on Sat will include the Stephens Falls spur trail, leading into a mossy glen featuring a small waterfall.
Its about 8 miles to our backpack campsites (805 and 806) at the northeast corner of the park. There will be pit toilets and fresh water about 1/2 mile from our campsites on Saturday.
Sun morning we'll pack up and head out along the east edge of the park then the west edge of Twin Valley lake toward the cars. We should have time to detour up the cave trail to view some sandstone rock formations and 2 small caves. We'll grab lunch at the Grumpy Troll brewpub in Mount Horeb on our way home.
This trip is rated for beginners, but you must have all the gear needed for an overnight backpacking trip in the backcountry and prepared to be self-sufficient. Main gear needed includes a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, cookset, a way to treat water, raingear, appropriate clothing and footwear and other personal/miscellaneous items. For a complete list of gear you might want to take along with you, or to simply have a checklist, go to the “More” tab and click on “Files.” In that list is a file called “Fox Cities Backpackers Meetup Suggested Gear List.” Look that over to be sure you will be adequately prepared. Feel free to contact me or other group organizers if you would like advice about your gear.
Directions: Take US Highway 18 to Dodgeville, which is about 48 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin. Then go north on State Highway 23. The park entrance is on your right about 3 miles north of Highway 18. You also can take the scenic Highway 23 south from Spring Green or north from Mineral Point to reach the park.