​​Friends of Governor Dodge - Equestrians

***** Special Announcements *****

Planned Opening: May 1, 2022

100EW: Launch of New Fundraising Campaign! 

100 Extraordinary Women is a national organization that empowers women to join together to support causes they believe in and create a bigger impact than they could on their  own.  Through this online giving campaign 100 Extraordinary Women donate or pledge $1,000 to the Friends of Governor Dodge - Equestrian capital campaign.  Your gift can be a one time donation or pledges can be made over 5 years.

   $16.67/month  or $200/year or one time gift of $1,000

100 donations = $100,000

Men can donate in honor or in memory of a woman who is important to them. Women can form groups and give a gift together, e.g., family members, sisters, bowling teams, books clubs. These extraordinary women will receive special, permanent recognition at the future equestrian campground at Governor Dodge State Park.

Find out more/donate visit :  

Thank you to the WI Horse Council for awarding the 2019 Special Achievement Award to us at the Midwest Horse Fair! 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our Accomplishments 


  • ​Bingo Day and Bonus Gift totaling $3023 Takes Us Across Finish Line for $25,000 match! 
  • ​Awarded Friends of WI State Parks Outstanding Friends Group Hero Award
  • "Focus on the Future" Fundraiser raised over $11,300
  • Contract signed with Rule Construction! Construction began March of 2021 (Phase II). Expected occupancy date of May 1, 2022
  • Awarded $20,000 Knowles Nelson Stewardship Match Grant for Phase III
  • Awarded $3,954 Grant from the David and Joyce Weizenicker Fund for State Parks
  • Awarded $12,480 Max Incentive Grant from the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks


  • "Dig In" Match raised $42,220.31 for total of $84.440.62 !!!
  • "Ride On" Fundraiser raised $12,000
  • Established $15,000 Endowment Fund with the Natural Resources Foundation of WI for FOGDSP Equestrians
  • Awarded $2,000 Alliant Energy Foundation grant
  • Awarded $45,000 Federal Recreational Trails Program Match Grant
  • Awarded $20,000 Knowles Nelson Stewardship Match Grant
  • Awarded $2,300 trail grant from Wisconsin Horse Council


  •  Raffle January-April  Raised $13,000
  • Awarded WI Horse Council Trails grants totaling $6,000.
  • Hired Rule Excavating of Dodgeville, WI to install vault toilet and make improvements at Trail Head parking area. ​
  • "Just for Fun" Events held in Dodgeville: February Glass Painting & Pizza and March Saddle Cleaning
  • Awarded $20,000 Knowles Nelson Match Grant for vault toilet
  • Raised awareness with booth at Midwest Horse Fair April 12-14
  • Awarded Special Achievement Award by WI Horse Council 
  • Installed vault toilet at day ride area which will also service future equestrian campground (Phase I)
  • Hosted Dodgeville 5:01 Chamber of Commerce/ VIP event at park
  • Netted over $12,000 at annual June Poker Ride/Hike and silent auction. 
  • Hosted Share the Trails Event - 250 Park users learned how to safely share the trails with horses. 
  • Launched 100 Extraordinary Women Fundraising Campaign


  • Continued meeting with DNR 
  • Hired Ayres & Associates for campground plan revisions
  • Final campground plan chosen
  • Planning for major capital campaign begins. 
  • Hosted June Poker Ride and Silent Auction Fundraiser
  • Hosted "Share the Trails" Open house/Ice Cream Social
  • Awarded GuideStar GOLD Seal of Transparency 
  • "Rise to the Challenge" initiative nets over $54, 000.
  • New signage installed on all Governor Dodge trails. Two new mounting blocks installed. Maple Grove picnic stop created on long Driftless Trail (formerly known as Outer Loop)  All thanks in part to grant from WI Horse Council 


  • Conducted feasibility study of campground plans
  • Continued Meeting with DNR
  • Hosted June Poker Ride Fundraiser
  • Hosted August “Share the Trails” Open House/Ice Cream Social


  • DNR provided first round of concept plans for new campground based on our “wish list”
  • Hosted June Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser
  • Hosted August Horsin’ Around Kids Camp
  • We became Equestrian Committee under Friends of Governor Dodge State Park


  • Group formed with a goal of seeing trail improvements and a new campground at Governor Dodge State Park
  • Met with DNR many times
  • Hosted June Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser
  • Hosted August Horsin’Around Kids Camp

                                           "CONSTRUCTION ADVISORY"
Horse Trails Closed November 15. 
Construction Advisory:  The Driftless Trail leading north-east from the trailhead has been permanently re-routed around the new campground. For your safety, please stay on the re-routed trail. DO NOT enter the construction zone either on foot or horseback! Please be patient-there will be plenty of opportunities to view the campground when work is complete. For details on the campground project, check out the kiosk at the day ride trailhead. If you like what you see...donations to help complete the project can be placed in the yellow Iron Ranger at the site, or made online.
Overflow Trailer parking: Overflow trailer parking is available just a short way from the regular day ride area. The large grassy field in front of the Twin Valley picnic shelter can safely and easily hold many rigs. (It's the trailer parking area used for Equestrian committee fundraisers in past years) To reach the overflow parking, continue straight ahead on the park road passing the turn to the day ride trailhead. You will pass a section of Twin Valley Lake on your right and then go up a hill. Near the top of the hill, the overflow parking will be ON YOUR RIGHT. A mowed path leads to the horse trail. Please do not ride horses to the nearby restrooms or picnic shelter! Your cooperation is vital in keeping this overflow area available for equestrian use.

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Governor Dodge State Park is located just north of Dodgeville in the unique Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. The Friends of Governor Dodge State Park is a 501(c)3 charitable organization whose mission is to support recreation, education and environmental stewardship at the park. As the equestrian committee of the Friends, we serve as a great resource for both horse enthusiasts and the park.

Since forming in 2015, our committee has completed many trail enhancements including new trail location signage, a rest stop/picnic area on the long Driftless Trail, and a new vault toilet "comfort stop" at the trailhead adjoining the future campground. We have presented annual Share the Trails educational programs and have hosted community events.

Our major goal is to see the park’s master plan for a new equestrian campground become a reality. With our construction goal of $550,000 we are on target for a May 1, 2022 opening! There is still much to do and opportunities to get involved.

Supporting Recreation, Education and Environmental Stewardship

at Governor Dodge State Park