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Governor Dodge State Park- The Perfect Midwest Weekend Getaway

Governor Dodge State Park is the perfect all-season getaway.

By: Brett Visser + Save to a List

Looking for a short weekend getaway? This is your place. You are mistaken if you think the best part of the dairy state is in Northern Wisconsin. The Southern edge of Wisconsin has plenty to offer, including Governor Dodge State Park!

The trails range anywhere from grass, crushed limestone (my favorite), dirt, and paved paths! Trails are designated for every type of activity and some overlapping. The best part about this park is the year-round activities available! Here is how to take advantage of this park:

Try these activities at Governor Dodge State Park

1. Mountain biking
Mountain biking is a very popular activity in the midwest, and this might just be the perfect place for it! Although it may not be RAGBRAI, there are 20+ miles of mountain biking including some very vigorous hills (who would've thought the midwest had hills?). 

2. Paddling
If getting out on the water is how you explore, then you will have plenty to do here over the weekend. Inside the park you can rent kayaks, canoes, peddle boats, and paddle boards. Just outside the park is a shop to get live bait for fishing as well. 

3. Hiking
Perhaps hiking is the best way to take advantage of this park as a family. The hiking within the park is what you make it. Hikes range from .5 mi to 20+ miles. There are several times where trails link up to make for a shortcut or extended hike.  In the winter these trails can be used for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

4. Camping
No reservations for a campsite? No problem. I used a walk-up campsite and enjoyed the outdoors just as much as any other campsite. Made some friends with the neighbors, and was close to flushable toilets and showers- great plus! "Midwest nice" is most certainly a thing. 

5. Photography
Looking to improve your photography skills? Take you instagram to the next level and come in the fall to catch the green trees turning to yellow, red, and orange. Grant wood didn't travel the midwest for nothing- go chase those rolling hills! Trees change color as early as mid-September so going out early never hurts!

    With so much to do in this park, you can prove to your friends out on the coast that the midwest isn't as 'bland' as they think it is! 

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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