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Winter Recreation

Governor Dodge State Park

Ice fishing

Two lakes in the park offer ice fishing opportunities throughout the winter. A bait shop is conveniently located nearby. The park does not monitor ice conditions or make recommendations as to the safety of the ice.


Sledding and tobogganing are great family sports. All you really need is a hill and a friend to pull your toboggan back up the hill. The Twin Valley Beach hill is a popular spot for sledding. Pit toilets are available at the Twin Valley Boat Landing. There are plenty of hills in the park—pick one and enjoy!

Cross-country skiing

Governor Dodge has over 12 miles of ski trails. Many trails can be reached from the Cox Hollow Beach trailhead. Water, picnic tables and vault toilet facilities are also available at the trailhead. Lakeview, Lost Canyon, Mill Creek and Meadow Valley (in order from easiest to most difficult) are groomed for skiing when conditions permit.

Lakeview trail

This 1.25-mile loop trail begins at the Cox Hollow beach picnic area. The trail is wooded, offers a few hills, a secluded valley and a nice view of Cox Hollow Lake. Less experienced skiers may wish to walk down the first grade and start skiing on the opposite side of the first bridge. Follow the light blue trail markers.

Lost Canyon trail

This is a 3-mile loop trail that can be reached from the Stephens’ Falls area. The trail has several steep grades. You will encounter mostly wooded areas and will journey into the scenic Lost Canyon which is fed by Stephens’ Falls. Follow the orange trail markers.

Meadow Valley trail

This 5-mile loop trail winds through the interior of the park. Trailheads are at the Cox Hollow beach picnic area and the Meadow Valley Trailhead which is about 0.4 miles west of Twin Valley Campground. You will pass through a wide variety of restored prairies, lush forests, open meadows and wooded ridges. There are some steep grades on this trail. Follow the brown trail markers. Sections of this trail are shared by horse riders.

Mill Creek trail

This 3.3-mile loop trail begins at the Cox Hollow beach picnic area. The trail winds through meadows and wooded valleys. Enjoy the spectacular views of both Cox Hollow and Twin Valley Lakes. You will encounter several steep grades but the majority of the trail is quite level. Follow the purple trail markers.

Winter hiking and snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the park except on cross-country ski trails. Try the Uplands Trail, Hickory Ridge group camp area or Twin Valley picnic area. Winter hiking is available on Pine Cliff Trail and the Uplands Trail. All other park trails are open to either skiers or snowmobilers only.

Pine Cliff trail

This is a wooded 2.5-mile trail that begins at Enee Point picnic area and ends at Lakeview Trail on the southeast side of Cox Hollow Lake. An additional 2-mile self-guided loop interprets area history, wildlife, vegetation and ecology. On this trail, you will encounter several steps, steep grades and rocky surfaces. Hikers will enjoy the scenic views above Cox Hollow Lake and the hike along the lakeshore. Follow the dark green trail markers.

Uplands trail

This is a 2.5-mile loop trail that begins about 0.25 miles northeast of the park office. Venture through rolling hills as you pass through prairies, woods and near an agricultural field. This trail is a wonderful opportunity to snowshoe, hike or use the park with your pet in the winter. Follow the magenta trail markers.


A 15-mile trail offers scenic views of this large spacious park. The park trail also connects with the 40-mile Military Ridge Trail to provide hours of riding enjoyment.

The opening and closing of snowmobile trails are at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails that cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails are done on a county-wide basis, however, localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails. The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report [exit DNR], and local club and county snowmobile webpages [exit DNR] and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.

Outer horse trail

This is a 15.3-mile loop trail that winds its way through some of the most scenic and remote areas of the park. The access point is the Horse Day Use Parking Area near Hickory Ridge Group Camp. At the southeast corner of the park, there is a snowmobile access trail that connects with the 40-mile Military Ridge State Trail. Trail passes are required for horse riders age 16 and older. For safety, this is a one-way, clockwise direction trail.