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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

Conditions as of Monday, Oct. 17, 2016:


For more information, see the DNR Events Calendar for a list of all the events at the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit.

Fall colors

The Kettle Moraine State Forest is a popular place to see fall color. Since the Southern Unit has very few maple trees, the color palette does not appear as early and does not have as wide of variety of colors as some parts of the country. Our oak forests generally peak the second or third week of October, but this can vary based on recent temperatures. You can check the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Fall Color Report [exit DNR] for current conditions.

The Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive is a 100-mile driving route through four units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The south end of the route is near Whitewater Lake, about 5 miles southeast of the city of Whitewater. The route will take you north through multiple counties and trace the interlobate moraine that is partially preserved by the State Forest. The moraines, eskers, and kames provide a beautiful backdrop for fall color. The route will take you on many town and county roads to Elkhart Lake. In addition to the green, acorn shaped signs that point out the route; some online maps also designate the roads as “Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive” but are unable to boldly highlight the route. Look closely at the road names on your smartphone.


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. Reservations are still recommended for the electric sites at Ottawa Lake, since the campground will fill up on weekends through the end of October. All sites at Ottawa Lake will become first-come, first-served on Nov. 1.

Water will remain on as long as possible, based on weather conditions. Showers, flush toilets and rinse water at the dump station will be shut off the week of Oct. 24. Drinking water will still be available at a spigot on the side of the contact station. The only bathroom that will be available is the vault toilet near site #359.

The Pinewoods Campground and the Whitewater Lake Campground are closed 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.

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.

The Horseriders Campground will be open until Nov. 16. Water for showers, flush toilets, and the horse rinse station will be shut off approximately mid to late October. A water spigot and vault toilet are located in the 500 loop.


About 95 percent of the state forest is open to public hunting during established open seasons. Some seasons may be subject to change. Consult the Wisconsin Hunting and Trapping Regulations before going hunting. Target shooting is prohibited in all areas of the forest, except at the McMiller Shooting Range.

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.

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: Monday October 17 2016