Friends of Governor Dodge - Equestrians

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our Journey


  • Amazing 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 grant for vault toilet
  • Awarded two $3,000 WHC Trail Grants for vault toilet and day ride parking improvements
  • Booth #86 in Coliseum at Midwest Horse Fair April 12-14
  • Awarded Special Achievement Award by WHC 
  • Installed first vault toilet at day ride area to service future equestian campground
  • Hosted 5:01 Chamber event at park
  • Hosted very successful June Poker Ride & Hike Fundraiser with silent auction


  • 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 
  • Applied for DNR Knowles Nelson grant


  • 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

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Friends of Governor Dodge State Park, Inc  is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting recreation, education, and environmental stewardship at Governor Dodge State Park. We are the Equestrian Committee of the Friends of Governor Dodge State Park and, like our parent group, we serve as a great resource for a great park. Located in the unique driftless area, Governor Dodge State Park is one of Wisconsin’s largest and most beautiful state parks. Our committee, organized in 2015, has been working with the DNR to complete several trail enhancements, while our ultimate goal is to see the park's master plan for a new horse campground become a reality. We have DNR approved campground plans in hand and have raised $140,000 since our campaign began in mid 2018. We encourage everyone to get involved. Together we can make a difference now and well into the future. 

Supporting Recreation, Education and Environmental Stewardship

at Governor Dodge State Park

We are very excited to announce that we have been awarded a $20,000 Knowles Nelson Stewardship grant!  These funds will help pay for the purchase and installation of a permanent, handicap accessible vault toilet at the Day Ride trail head area.  This amenity, planned for spring installation, will be enjoyed by the horse riders, hikers and rock climbers who use the trail head.  It will eventually serve the new 21-site equestrian campground planned for the area.

We also just recently learned that we have been 

awarded a $3,000 grant for the vault toilet project and another $3,000 grant for the day ride area parking improvements, both from the WHC Trail Committee.

In addition, we are thrilled to announce that we were nominated by the WHC Board of Directors to receive a Special Achievement Award  for our determination to build a new equestrian campground at Governor Dodge State Park.  This award will be presented to us at Midwest Horse Fair on Sunday, April 14, 11:00 in the Coliseum. 

***** Other FOGD-E News *****

Fundraising Update     

Our recent 2019 raffle grew our equestrian campground fund by over $13,000! We are grateful to our prize donors and to everyone who bought raffle tickets. The lucky tickets were drawn on April 12 at the Midwest Horse Fair by WHC VIPs. Truly everyone is a winner when our parks see improvements!

The WI Horse Council recently honored the Friends of Governor Dodge-Equestrians with a 2019 Special Achievement Award for the group's determination to develop interest and raise funds for the new equestrian campground. Since the campground fundraising campaign was kicked off in June, 2018, the equestrian campground fund has grown to $193,000!

Concrete evidence of the group's progress recently became apparent when the new vault toilet was installed at the trailhead adjoining the future campground. Funded in part through the $20,000 Knowles Nelson Grant and the WI Horse Council Grants of $6,000 and with the help of Rule Constructiion of Dodgeville, the new permanent toilet will be appreciated by the horse riders, hikers, and rock climbers who frequent the trailhead. It will also serve the campground in the future.

Our next big fundraiser is the Poker Ride/Hike and Silent Auction on June 2. We are actively seeking items for the silent auction and appreciate your help with this. Don't forget to register for the ride by May 12th in order to get your free T shirt!

       ​***** We continue to seek corporate partners and assistance through foundations and grants. *****