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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.

Located on 10,000-acre Lake Mendota, recreation and nature mingle Locationwithin sight of the State Capitol. Governor Nelson is a day use park offering a sand beach, boat launch, fish cleaning facility, picnic areas and playground equipment, prairie restorations and over 8 miles of trails. Native American effigy mounds can be seen on the Woodland Trail.

Hiking Canoeing & Kayaking Swimming Boating Fishing Picnicking Shelters Winter Activities

Contact information
For information, contact:
Governor Nelson State Park
5140 Cty Hwy M
Waunakee, WI 53597

Wisconsin State Park System Governor Nelson State Park

View of a trail in a field next to the forest.

DNR Photo

Notice: The boat landing piers have been removed due to high water levels on Lake Mendota. Both the beach and pet swim area are under water. There is blue green algae along the shoreline and swimming is not advised at this time.

There is a slow no wake restriction on Lake Mendota. For more information, see the Dane County website [exit DNR].

Park information


  • Governor Nelson State Park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.


The entrance to Governor Nelson State Park is on the southeast side of County Highway M, about 2 miles west of State Highway 113 and 4.7 miles east of U.S. Highway 12. Geographic coordinates are 43° 8' 14.24" N, 89° 26' 31.49" W.




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Last revised: Tuesday September 11 2018