​​Friends of Governor Dodge - Equestrians

 Listen to the radio interview

July, 2018 The Farm Report with Sandy Rogers

                                     Friends of Governor Dodge State Park - Trails End Campground Project

 Who We Are: The Friends of Governor Dodge State Park is 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the programs and facilities at Governor Dodge State Park in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.  Located in Southwest Wisconsin’s unique Driftless area, the park encompasses more than 5,000 rolling, primarily forested acres with 2 lakes for swimming, fishing and paddling, large rock outcroppings, expansive vistas, beautiful prairies and miles of trails.

 What We Do: Since forming in 1996, our group’s many accomplishments have included funding the park’s summer naturalist, developing interpretive displays, building a pet swim area and a kayak/canoe launch, prairie restoration, installing improved trail signage, and ongoing efforts to control invasive species. 

Horseback Riding at Governor Dodge State Park: The tradition of horseback riding on land in the park continues today with 25 miles of scenic and well-maintained trails that are some of Wisconsin’s finest.  With more trails than can be explored in a single day, users from outside the immediate area camp at the park with their horses.   The current 11 site campground was intended to be temporary. Trailers sit close together on a deteriorating asphalt lot located in park’s busy core.

Why a New Campground is Needed: A new equestrian campground has been in the master plan for Governor Dodge State Park since 1984. The site has been identified, with water and electric already in place. The Friends of Governor Dodge Equestrian committee has secured plans for a beautiful new campground at the site identified in the master plan. The 21 sites at the new Trails End Campground will be nicely spaced for privacy and ease of use, with scenic views of the park’s peaceful north side.  With nearly double the capacity of the current campground, hundreds more users can access the park each season. The improved ambience will encourage families to camp with their children and horses, exposing youngsters to the healthy pleasures of outdoor recreation with their animals.  

Why We Need Your Help: Park funding from our state government has been significantly cut back in recent years. Parks now receive barely enough funding to cover annual emergency and infrastructure repairs on systems that are as much as 40 years old in some parks.  State funds are not available to cover the estimated $550,000 construction cost of the new Trails End Campground at Governor Dodge.  We are seeking funding from a range of sources for this, our first capital fund drive.

We invite individuals, organizations and businesses who recognize the benefits of outdoor recreation for mental and physical health, and understand the financial value equestrian activities bring to our local and State economies to donate generously to the campground fund.  For more information email us at

    Watch Madison, WI Channel 3 News June, 2018 New Equestrian Campground 

 Watch Madison, WI Channel 15 News June, 2018 New Equestrian Campground

Building for the Future at Governor Dodge State Park  

The drawing above shows the general layout but is subject to minor changes.