More than 22,000 acres of glacial hills, kettles, lakes, prairie restoration sites, pine woods and hardwood forests can be found in the Southern Unit, making this a popular area for a wide variety of visitors. The Forest is 30 miles long, extending from the village of Dousman, almost to the city of Whitewater. The forest headquarters is 3 miles west of the village of Eagle on State Highway 59.
- 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)
Wisconsin State Park System Kettle Moraine State Forest—Southern Unit
Attention: A dam that formed the trout pond at Paradise Springs in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest failed earlier this week and the pond has drained. Water had undermined the structure and is flowing under it and into the outlet.
Department of Natural Resources dam safety staff inspected the dam structure earlier this week and determined there is no way to refill the pond without significant repairs or replacement of the structure.
DNR staff will continue to evaluate the options for the dam, including temporary repair, replacement or abandonment of the dam.
- The state forest is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
- Forest headquarters: Open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mondays - Saturdays; and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sundays. A museum and gift shop is available at the headquarters.
- Ottawa Lake and Whitewater Lake contact stations are open during the camping season. Ottawa Lake campground is open year-round (self registration is required Nov. to March).
- Whitewater campground is open mid-May through mid-Oct.
- Horseriders' campground is open for camping from April 1 to mid-Nov.
The Kettle Moraine State Forest—Southern Unit is 61 miles east of Madison and 37 miles southwest of Milwaukee. Campers should check in at their campgrounds. Consult a Wisconsin State Highway Map, the forest map or see the suggested route directions. If using computerized mapping software or a vehicle navigational system, please note that addresses entered into a mapping system may not always come up in the correct location. Instead, enter the intersection of the cross streets nearest your destination. Southern Unit addresses.
- Vehicle admission sticker is required.
- A state trail pass is required for bikers, horseback riders and skiers 16 years of age and older.
- Hunting and fishing licenses apply.
Concessions and rental equipment
Firewood and ice are available at the Whitewater and Ottawa Lake contact stations.
Friends Group and volunteering
- The Kettle Moraine Natural History Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping preserve the features of outstanding interest in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The Kettle Moraine Natural History Association generates financial support through gift shop sales, donations and membership dues. It has provided matching funds for Stewardship grants. All are invited to become members. Applications for membership are available at the forest headquarters. Members provide vital assistance in financial support and in helping to eradicate invasive plants within the state forest.
- Southern Kettle Moraine Horse Trail Association
- State Park System volunteering opportunities
- Horseriders' campground map
- Ottawa Lake recreation area and campground map
- Pinewoods campground map
- Whitewater Lake campground map
- Emma Carlin trails
- Horse and snowmobile trails
- McMiller trails
- Muir trails
- Nordic trails
- Scuppernong trails
Self-guiding nature trail maps
- Bald Bluff nature trail
- Lone Tree Bluff nature trail
- Ottawa Lake canoe trail
- Paradise Springs nature trail
- Rice Lake nature trail
- Scuppernong Springs nature trail
- Stute Springs nature trail