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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

Trail Conditions Hotline: 262-594-6202 Bike/horse/ski trails

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


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.


See the DNR Events Calendar for a list of all the events at the Southern Unit.

The North Face Challenge, a large running race, will be held at the Ottawa Lake Campground and surrounding trails Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16. There may be delays in traffic due to an unusually high volume of visitors. The campgrounds and day use areas will still be open, but parking may be limited. The busiest times will be before noon on both days. The race will be completed by 2 p.m.

The Fall Color Festival Bike Race will be held on the John Muir Trails on September 29. Bikers not participating may want to use the Emma Carlin Trails to avoid the crowds. The race will be completed by 2 p.m.


There are two beaches within the Southern Unit, at Ottawa Lake and at Whitewater Lake. Water at both locations is tested weekly for bacteria levels. Occasionally during summer, the beaches may be closed due to bacteria levels.

For current beach conditions, please refer to the Wisconsin Beach Health website [exit DNR].


Campgrounds are open for the season. Reservations are strongly recommended for dates May through October. Camping reservations for outdoor campsites can be made online or by calling 888-947-2757.

Campground closing dates:

  • Ottawa Lake – Open year-round
  • Ice Age Trail Backpack Shelters – Open year-round
  • Whitewater Family and Hickory Woods Group Sites – October 8
  • Pinewoods Family Campground – October 15
  • Pinewoods Group Sites – November 11
  • Horseriders’ Campground – November 11

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.

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. Reservations must be made by calling Reserve America at 888-947-2757. You cannot make reservations for backpack shelters online. 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.

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 at the free museum.

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: Thursday August 23 2018