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a Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation area or trail.
Camping opportunities
in state parks and forests.
How to buy
a vehicle admission sticker or state trail pass.
Get Outdoors!
to attend a nature program or event with family and friends.
Contact information
For information, contact:
Mailing address:
Forest Headquarters

S91 W39091 Highway 59
Eagle, WI 53119

Ottawa Lake Visitor Center and Campground
Camping Open All Year
S59 W36530 County ZZ
Dousman, WI 53118
262-594-6220 (Memorial Day to Labor Day)

Rebecca Peiffer, Visitor Services

Pinewoods Campground Campers must check in at Ottawa Lake Visitor Center

Horserider’s Campground
W830 Little Prairie Rd.
Palmyra, WI 53156

Whitewater Lake Visitor Center and Campground
W7796 Kettle Moraine Drive
Whitewater, WI 53190
262-473-7501 (Memorial Day to Labor Day)

Kettle Moraine State Forest—Southern Unit Current conditions

Paradise Springs Pond: Repairs to the Paradise Springs dam are complete. Dredging of the pond above the dam will be taking place and is anticipated to be completed by the end of August. Once dredging is complete, the pond will be refilled to its former water level. Please note the pond may be closed during dredging.


For the most up-to-date information, call the Trail Information Line, 262-594-6202 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Pets, as long as they are on a leash 8 feet or shorter, are welcome on hiking trails with the exception of nature trails.


Ottawa Lake campground and the Ice Age Trail backpack shelters are open year-round.

All other campgrounds are open for the season.

Don't move firewood!

Don't move firewood!Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, Wisconsin has restrictions for moving firewood.

Reservations are strongly recommended for dates May through October. Camping reservations for outdoor campsites can be made online or by calling 888-947-2757.

Please note: Due to the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer, many trees within the Ottawa Lake Campground have been removed. Unfortunately this has reduced the amount of shade available on some campsites. Staff will be updating campsite photos on the reservation website this spring.

The Ice Age Trail has three backpack shelters open year-round. A camping permit is required and you must camp at a designated shelter campsite. We allow one camping party, maximum of 10 people per shelter per night. Everything is backpacked in and out. Reservations are strongly recommended for backpack shelter camping on weekends. If you do not have a reservation, we recommend calling ahead to determine availability for first-come, first-served backpack shelter camping. For more information, call 262-594-6200.


See the DNR Events Calendar for a list of all the events at the Southern Unit.

There are a few special events held at the Southern Unit each year that will bring in larger crowds than you would typically expect to see. All trails, campgrounds and facilities remain open to public during these events. If you have any questions on how these events will affect your visit, feel free to email Amanda Kutka or call 262-594-6200.

  • July 29-30, 2017 – Triathlon at Ottawa Lake Campground. This event may cause delays in getting in and out of the entrance of Ottawa Lake Campground during the biking portion on Sunday.
  • Sept. 16-17, 2017 – Running Race at Ottawa Lake Campground. This large running event will limit the amount of parking available at the beach, boat launch and picnic areas at Ottawa Lake. The largest crowds of people will be early in the morning until early afternoon each day.

Office hours

The forest headquarters, museum and trading post is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office phone number is 262-594-6200. Stop by and learn about our glacial and cultural heritage at the free museum.

For the most up-to-date information, call the Trail Information Line, 262-594-6202 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Last revised: Tuesday July 25 2017