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Enjoying the Parks with your Pet

Wisconsin State Park System


Responsible pet owners and their pets are welcome in Wisconsin State Parks. There are a few simple rules to ensure that you, your pet and other visitors will enjoy the park.

Keep your pet on a leash

Pets must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet at all times.

Pets must be under control

Pets must be under control at all times. Pet owners are not allowed to let their pets interfere in any manner with other people's enjoyment of the park. Pet owners who fail to properly control a pet or whose pet creates a public nuisance or other disturbance may be asked to leave the park or may be issued citations. Leaving your pet unattended for periods of time is inconsiderate to other park users and exposes you to potential problems.

Loose pets may be seized

Loose pets may be seized and are subject to local laws pertaining to stray animals. Owners of loose pets may be ticketed. If your pet is lost, inform a park ranger and immediately call the local authorities to find the location of the nearest stray-holding facility.

Dispose of waste properly

Pet owners are responsible for the proper removal and disposal of their pets' waste products. Waste should be disposed of in dumpsters or trash receptacles.

Areas where pets are permitted

Pets are permitted in most campgrounds, trails, roads and outlying areas of the parks.

Areas off limits to pets

Pets are not allowed in the following places (this rule applies to all pets except service animals helping people with disabilities).

  • Buildings and picnic shelters
  • Amphitheaters
  • Picnic areas, except designated pet picnic areas
  • Beaches, except designated pet swim areas
  • Playgrounds
  • Marked nature trails
  • Cross-country ski trails when groomed for skiing
  • Observation towers
  • Indoor group camps and related facilities
  • Designated "pet-free areas" identified at properties
    • Including the quiet area at Loop 1 of the Pinewoods Campground in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest.
  • Anywhere in:
    • Copper Culture State Park
    • Heritage Hill State Park
    • Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area

Pet swim areas and picnic areas

The following properties have designated pet swim or picnic areas. Pets must be on a leash at all times when not in the water.

Richard Bong State Recreation Area has a designated area for teaching dogs to retrieve, point, flush and/or track game for the purpose of hunting or dog trial competition. The area is used for training on foot, with horses and in the water. It is in the Special Uses Zone in the southwest area of the property. A license is required to train if live birds or ammunition is used. Please Note: Dog trainers are serious about training, have paid their license fee and do not appreciate pet dogs running loose while they are training. Please keep in mind that live ammunition is used in the dog training area.