- Contact information
- For information, contact:
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 Prange, 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)
S91 W39091 Highway 59
Eagle, WI 53119
Kettle Moraine State Forest—Southern Unit Current conditions
Conditions as of Wednesday, February 26, 2014:
All trails are open in the Forest. Please call the Trail Information line for up-to-date conditions, 262-594-6202.
Cross-country ski trails: The trails are open and being groomed. Each trail system offers a variety of loops for different skill levels. Heavily used trails can be a bit icy in spots. Please remember no walking or dogs allowed on the groomed trails. Ski conditions are also available on the Friends of Lapham Peak Unit - Kettle Moraine State Forest (exit DNR) website.
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.
Nordic Ski Trail [PDF 366KB]. This trail is groomed for skate and classical skiing. There is a warming building at the trailhead.
Scuppernong Ski Trail [PDF 132KB]. Scuppernong trail is groomed for classical skiing only. There is no warming shelter available.
McMiller Ski Trail [PDF 304KB]. This trail has both classical and skate ski trails, and also offers a biathlon training course. There is a new parking lot and warming building outside of the gate for the shooting range, on the west side of the entrance road. The building will be open during daylight hours every day.
Snowmobile trails within the Forest are currently open, but adjoining county trails may not be. Please check with the local snowmobile clubs before venturing off of State Forest trails.A snowmobile map is also available at the Forest Headquarters.
Hiking and Snowshoe trails are open. Note: Hiking, showshoeing and pets are not allowed on groomed ski trails. The Ice Age Trail, Emma Carlin trail, John Muir trail and all nature trails are open for hiking and snowshoeing. Pets as long as they are on a leash 8 feet or shorter are welcome on hiking trails with the exception of nature trails.
- Winter Events [PDF]
- Spring Events [PDF]
- See the DNR Events Calendar for a list of events at the Southern Unit and other state parks.
While the ground is still completely covered with snow, the birds are starting to think about spring. When visiting the Forest, be sure to listen for spring calling from cardinals, chickadees, and tufted titmice.
Don't move firewood!
Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, Wisconsin has restrictions for moving firewood.
The Ottawa Lake Campground will be open all winter. Consider trying out winter camping this year!
The office at Ottawa Lake is closed for the season, however several campsites will be plowed for winter camping, including the two walk-in sites. You will need to use cash or check for the self-registration system at the contact station when registering for camping. Water is available outside the contact station on the west wall. The winter toilet is near sites 359e or 346e. The dump station is open however the water is turned off.
All other campgrounds are closed for the season.
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.
Get ready for Spring camping! The list of opening days for our campgrounds is below:
Pinewoods Group Sites
Pinewoods Family Sites
Whitewater Lake Family sites
Hickory Woods Group Sites
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 e-mailing Amanda, or call 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).