Explore the most popular kid friendly trails near Dodgeville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Pretty but not worth the drive

hiking
1 day ago

Went early enough in the morning that it wasn’t crowded. I really enjoyed the trail but wasn’t able to complete the entire loop because of a Bear encounter. A Black bear came out of the woods onto the trail about 60 feet in front of me grunting (with a little bit of growling) and posturing. Scared the daylights out of me but i knew what to do and all was well. VERY awesome experience!

Waterfall not worth the crowd! Hike to falls is app. 1/4 mile from the road. Use Stephens' Falls for a trailhead and keep moving.

FYI...after a big rain, the crowds are gone and the falls are much more impressive...can be a beautiful spot.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is the definition of "bang for your buck". It is super accessible for hikers of all skill levels and is quite beautiful, in spots. Go early and hike the cloverleaf of inter-connected trails. Skip Stephens' Falls unless you like a crowd.

Pros:

- Close to home (Madison)
- Beautiful natural landscape
- Trail(s) is/are well marked

Cons: (not really)

- Super busy! Hard to relax.
- Crowded parking on the road
- Trail is heavily wooded in spots...mosquito and tick repellent is a must must must!

1 month ago

Started this trail from Enee Point. It’s a nice hike, with some steeper inclines. As you climb closer to the top, it’s pretty clear why it’s named Pine Cliff trail, as dry pine needles cover the ground, which added a nice picturesque feature. To reach the peak, you will need to scale some rocks, but that just adds to the adventure! The view of the lake from the top can be a bit covered with greenery, but if you position yourself just right, you can see some very blue water down at the bottom.

1 month ago

Continued to Lost Canyon Trail from Stephen’s falls. There were some beautiful rock formations with regular encounters with small creeks throughout. Trail is well marked. I definitely recommend bug spray! There were some steep inclines, but worth it!

Stephen’s Falls is markedly advertised from the main road through the park. It’s a very short hike down to the waterfall, though there are some steep areas. Beautiful scenery. Can be overcrowded. But, who doesn’t love a waterfall? You can connect to the Lost Canyon Trail for additional hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hidden gem in Wisconsin. Can be made to a longer loop with Lost Canyon Trail.

on Lost Canyon Trail

2 months ago

vestido, great hike

Nice short hike. Go after a big rain.

hiking
10 months ago

Short easy loop hike, it's shaded all the way, very well maintained with signs and no bugs at all.

hiking
11 months ago

This is a fun, short hike to nice cool spot.

hiking
11 months ago

This is a gorgeous hike, I can't wait to go back in the fall, no bugs, it is shaded all the way, make a stop at the Stephens fall and check out the rock spring house before you go back to the car

11 months ago

Nice hike through the woods. go clockwise from Stephens Falls lot. we went to the falls first, then counterclockwise, much steeper climb that way. 9 year old did great though!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

AllTrails lists this as an easy hike but I'd call this moderate because it's got at least two steep hills. The views are nice once you're up nice and high but not spectacular. It's a pretty combination of woods and prairie and is a nice little workout. Very enjoyable.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Always a fun climb up the little cliff covered with blanket of pine needles with a view out over the lake.

hiking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We went with the hike it baby Madison group on Saturday Am, the parking lot was already full at 10am, it's a short hike to the waterfalls maybe 10min walk , then we continued with the east loop trail, it was gorgeous and shaded al the way.

hiking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We did this gorgeous hike with , hike it baby group in Madison, it starts off the parking lot, shaded all the way not too many bugs at all, stairsways along the way and benches on the side of the trail, we really enjoyed the view at the top .

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Stephens Falls trail intersects with this trail. If you do them together it will be a little more than four miles. Easy hiking. Lost Canyon Trail is a mowed path for 3/4 of the way, then a well-trodden dirt path the rest of the way. Stephens Falls is the highlight. This is a large park , centered around the two lakes. After hiking, we rented a paddleboat and worked our way across the Cox Hollow lake.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Spent last weekend there. Awesome trail conditions even with the rain.

hiking
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Absolutely stunning hike. I loved the views and while it did have challenging portions that were very steep, it is well worth the effort!

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Loved the falls. Very scenic and peaceful hike.

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

Fun area to spend some time. Good elevation changes that make it challenging.

hiking
Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beautiful.

hiking
Saturday, August 08, 2015

Easy beautiful hike to Stephens Falls. Returned back to the car via a portion of the Lost Canyon Trail

birding
Sunday, June 28, 2015

There are many different trails in Governor Dodge State Park, this description makes it sound like just one 10 mi loop, not true. We hiked the Lost Canyon Trail recommended by the ranger at the entry gate. It was a great choice. From the Stephens Falls parking area it is a 3 mile loop descending down to Stephens Falls which are beautiful then along the stream. During the hike there is a gradual sent up to the open grasslands and then you go back down into the woods and down to the stream bed. There are several canyon overlooks and great rock formations along the trail. Mostly tree covered with moss covered rocks. There is also an interpretive area that explains tamily farm that occupied this land from the 1800's until it was brought by the state for the park in the 1950's. provide a truly beautiful setting, especially for this hikerfrom dry Southern California. There is also an interpretive area that explains the family farm that occupied this land from the 1800's until it was brought by the state for the park in the 1950's

hiking
Sunday, July 13, 2014

I was there for the night walk, where they light up one of the trails with candles at dark. That trail is nice and easy while still providing enough terrain for all family members to enjoy. Plus they had some star gazing, which was pretty cool.
A separate time we did some off-trail hiking for a bit more of a challenge, even climbed some is the rock bluffs. This is certainly a place to go if you're looking for some variety.

paddle sports
Sunday, July 13, 2014

Personally my experience would have been more enjoyable had wind not complicated things, but from what we did see we enjoyed a lot. The shoreline is beautiful in the fall.

hiking
Thursday, September 05, 2013

Good variety of trail terrain and difficulties. The trail mentioned in the overview doesn't do this park justice. You have great lookout views, cool, stream hikes, open meadow areas, woods and rock formations, even a waterfall. In total, there are approx. 40 miles of trails. It also has decent camping with some large sites, horse camping, canoeing and more. Sadly, the present Gov has allowed hunting inside the park, thus the 4 star rating.

hiking
Monday, July 08, 2013

Not a fan! We have been to a lot of State Parks and this is by far the worst. In a place where you must pick up your dog poo (and we always do) they think nothing of letting horses crap all over the trails and no one is expected to pick that up? Give me a break! We spent so much time watching out where we stepped that we couldn't enjoy the scenery! They do make collection bags that you can attach to the saddle that collects this sh&$. (Pardon the pun) or what about the good ol fashioned shovel? We will not be going back!

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