- 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 Camping and reservations
The Kettle Moraine southern unit has several camping areas.
Reservations are strongly recommended from May through October. Camping reservations for outdoor campsites can be made online or by calling 888-947-2757.
Pinewoods has 101 campsites, flush toilets, pit toilets, and showers. There are no electrical sites at this campground. A playground is next to the shower building. This campground offers a designated area for those who want to enjoy the peace and quiet that nature has to offer. Loop 1 (of 3 loops) is a 24-hour quiet zone, meaning no pets, radios, or mechanical device noises are allowed, ensuring a peaceful visit. A recycling/garbage station and sanitary dump station are within the campground. Pinewoods is available for camping from mid-May though mid-October.
Ottawa Lake campground is the only year-round campground in the southern unit. It offers 100 sites, including 49 electrical sites, two shower buildings, flush toilets and a winter pit toilet building. Accessible sites are available as well as a reservable accessible cabin designed especially for people with disabilities. A sanitary dump and recycling/garbage station are provided for the registered campers.
The Whitewater Lake campground is a primitive campground with 63 beautiful campsites. Pit toilets but no shower facilities are available at the Whitewater Lake campground. Showers are available at Pinewoods and Ottawa Lake, about 20 miles to the north. A sanitary dump and recycling/garbage station are provided for campers. Whitewater Lake is available for camping from mid-May through mid-October.
The group camps in the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest offer a great opportunity for large groups to camp together in a beautiful, natural area. The fee for the sites is based on the number of persons occupying the campsite.
Pinewoods group camp at Pinewoods campground
Pinewoods Group Camp offers four large sites (A, B, C and D) that accommodate up to 40 people and 20 vehicles per site. The Pinewoods campground has pit toilets near the sites and a shower house with flush toilets in the center of the campground. Electricity is not available on the campsites. Pinewoods group camp is open for camping from April 1 through the Wednesday before deer gun hunting season. This campground is off of County Highway ZZ in Dousman. Campers must check in at the Ottawa Lake contact station.
Hickory Woods group camp at Whitewater Lake campground
Hickory Woods group campsites (J, K, L, M and N) can accommodate up to 20 people and 10 vehicles per site. Hickory Woods sites (P and R) can accommodate up to 40 people and 20 vehicles per site. There are no showers or flush toilets at the campground. Campers may drive 15 minutes to the Horse camp for the nearest showers. Hickory Woods is open from mid-May through mid-October. This campground is off of County Highway P in Whitewater. Campers must check in at the Whitewater Lake contact station.
For campers who like to camp at a more secluded and wooded campsite adjacent to a family campground, walk-in sites are available at the Pinewoods, Ottawa Lake, and Whitewater Lake campgrounds. These sites are set back in the forest, anywhere from about 140 to 750 feet from their parking stalls. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and a gravel pad for tents. Tents are restricted to the gravel pads to minimize wear and tear on the surrounding landscape. Pit toilets are near all walk-in sites.
Primitive backpack camping along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is available year-round only at three designated trail shelter sites. Camping is only allowed at designated campsites. Backpack sites are remote sites, separate from other forest facilities and require a hike of 0.5-miles to 10-miles depending on the parking location selected by the camper. A roofed trail shelter, fire ring, and pit toilet are provided at each site. These sites are not accessible by vehicle, but most have parking areas within a mile of the site. All equipment and water must be backpacked to the site and all refuse must be packed out.
Reservations are limited to 10 people per night and are limited to one night. However, another site may be reserved for a second night at a second location or a third night at a third site.
A camping permit is required to use these shelters. Reservations are taken year round. Reservations for the backpack shelters are only available by phone, 888-947-2757, TTY 800-274-7275.
Some people with disabilities who have been unable to use the traditional rustic campgrounds can benefit from the Cabin Campsite for People with Disabilities in the Ottawa Lake campground. This barrier-free log cabin was constructed and given to the Department of Natural Resources by the Telephone Pioneers of America. Nestled in the woods overlooking Ottawa Lake, the 700-square-foot log cabin has asphalt surfaced parking lot and pathway to the cabin and other paths that link to nearby recreation facilities. A screened porch provides a panoramic view of the beautiful Ottawa Lake. The cabin campsite has the usual camping amenities such as a fire ring, post-mounted grill and picnic table.
Accessible campsites, designed specifically for those who have physical disabilities, are available in the Pinewoods, Ottawa Lake, and Whitewater Lake campgrounds. The following table compares their amenities:
|Campground||Ottawa Lake||Pinewoods||Whitewater Lake|
|Paved path to accessible rest room||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special family rest rooms||Yes||Yes||No|
|Paved drives for vehicle parking||Yes||Yes||No|
|Paved walk to accessible pier||Yes||No||No|
|Paved path to beach||No||No||Yes|
This campground is only available to people camping with their horses. Horseriders campground is centrally located in the state forest, with the horse trails connecting within the campground. Campers with horses can enjoy 36 back-in sites, 20 pull-through sites, one group site accommodating up to 20 people, a picnic shelter, horse shower, manure deposit stations, drinking water, and pit toilets.
The Horseriders’ campground has a brand new shower building that is now open. The Southern Kettle Moraine Horse Trail Association did extensive fund raising to add electricity to 19 sites at the campground.
Each site includes tether posts and a fire ring. Horseriders campground is open for camping from April through November 30.
(Note: All horseriders 16 years and older must purchase and carry a state trail pass while using the designated bridle trails in the state forest.)
Frequently asked questions
Firewood notice: Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, firewood from out of state or from more than 25 miles away is not allowed on Wisconsin State Park or Forest properties. Also, firewood that has been in the Wisconsin emerald ash borer quarantined area is not allowed on properties outside of the quarantined area. Please buy firewood at or near the park or forest where you are going. Call the DNR toll-free Firewood Hotline, 1-877-303-WOOD (1-877-303-9663) for information before packing for a trip. For more information, see firewood facts, rules and advice or ask the park or forest office. Maps are available to view the 25-mile radius of allowable firewood on state properties.