- Contact information
- For information, contact:
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)
Amanda Kutka, Visitor Services
Pinewoods Campground Campers must check in at Ottawa Lake Visitor Center
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
Conditions as of Monday, August 3, 2015:
Attention: A dam that formed the trout pond at Paradise Springs in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest failed and the pond has drained. Water had undermined the structure and is flowing under it and into the outlet.
DNR dam safety staff inspected the structure and determined significant repairs or replacement of the structure is needed to refill the pond. DNR staff will continue to evaluate the options for the dam, including temporary repair, replacement or abandonment of the dam.
Please call the Trail Information line for up-to-date conditions, 262-594-6202. The mountain bike trails will close if it is raining. Always call the trail hotline before driving out to the trails.
Remember, a state trail pass is required for anyone ages 16 and older to use the mountain bike, bridle or cross-country ski trails. No trail pass is required for hiking. A vehicle admission sticker is required in all fee use areas.
Hiking trails are open. Pets as long as they are on a leash 8 feet or shorter are welcome on hiking trails with the exception of nature trails. The Nordic and Scuppernong ski trails are open for hiking. You may also hike on the Emma Carlin and John Muir trails but be aware that those trail systems are also open to mountain biking and can be hectic to hike on during busy periods.
See the DNR Events Calendar for a list of events at the Southern Unit and other state parks.
Campgrounds are open for the season. Reservations are always recommended for weekend stays.
Don't move firewood!
Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, Wisconsin has restrictions for moving firewood.
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.
Many areas of the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit are open to hunting. Blaze orange or other bright colors are recommended for all users to increase visibility. You may borrow or purchase a blaze orange vest from most Forest offices.
Hiking trails within the Southern Unit that are closed to hunting:
- Paradise Springs Nature Trail - 0.5 miles paved
- Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail – 1.5 miles
- Rice Lake Nature Trail – 1 mile
Other nearby trails that are closed to hunting:
- Glacial Drumlin State Trail – This is a gravel trail on an old railroad bed. It stretches from Waukesha to Cottage Grove. It is not a looping trail.
- Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest – 21 miles of hiking trails
Do you want to help protect Wisconsin’s natural resources for future generations? Do you have a skill that could benefit the forest? The Southern Unit is looking for volunteers. If you are interested in being notified of opportunities, sign up for our volunteer email list by emailing Amanda Kutka or calling 262-594-6200.
Volunteer opportunities at the Southern Unit throughout the year.
- Pull invasive garlic mustard. April to June.
- Collect seeds from native plants. August to October.
- Remove invasive buckthorn trees. Fall and winter.
- Adopt-A-Trail. The forest needs trail tenders to fight invasive plants on some sections of trail, especially along:
- Stute Springs Nature Trail
- All loops of the Nordic skiing and hiking trail
- Plant surveys to be completed annually to analyze the benefits of invasive plant removal (need to have strong knowledge of plant communities to complete this task).
- Bird house monitoring.
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.
For the most up-to-date information, call the Trail Information Line 262-594-6202 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).