Nature and Recreation in One Place

The Kettle Moraine State Forest in southern Wisconsin features more than 20,000 acres of lakes, glacial hills, prairies, pine woods, and hardwood forests. The area is popular for fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping, and also features the Scuppernon River Habitat Area, the largest wet prairies east of the Mississippi River. Visitors to the forest can fish on one of the four lakes bordering the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine. The lakes range from 28 to 640 acres, and are typically stocked with walleye and panfish, as well as muskie, bass, trout, and northern pick. Lakes are available by walk-in or boat landing, so all can enjoy the area.

Hunting is also permitted inside of the park. Most of the acreage is open to hunters during normal hunting seasons in Wisconsin. Hunting is not permitted in parking lots, picnic areas, or wildlife refuges, other posted special use areas, or within 100 yards of any of the campgrounds. It is the hunter's responsibility to make sure they are operating in a permitted hunting area.

Those who would like to camp at the State Park have a variety of options. The Pinewoods Campground features 101 campsites, flush and pit toilets, and shower. None of these sites are electrical, so RV camping would be better done elsewhere. There is a playground located near the shower building and the site offers a section that is a 24-hour quiet zone. In this area, there are no pets, radios, or mechanical noise devices allowed. The Pinewoods area is great for those camping for peace and quiet. The Ottawa Lake Campground is the only year-round grounds in the Southern Unit. There are 100 sites, 49 of which have electrical hookups. There are also two shower buildings with flush toiles and a winter pit toilet building. This is a great area for those who camp year-round in an RV or motor home. The Whitewater Lake Campground has 63 sites without shower facilities. This area is great for those roughing it and provides hikeable access to the Ottawa Lake, located 20 miles north of the grounds.

The Pinewoods and Hickorty Woods Group Camps feature space for large groups. The sites can accommodate up to 40 people and there is access to drinking water and pit toilets. Walk-in sites are very secluded and are available at the Pinewoods, Ottawa Lake, and Whitewater areas. Set back at least 140 feet from parking stalls, these areas have picnic tables, fire rings, and areas to pitch tents. These are great for those who want to escape to natura an get away from it all. The Backpack Shelters are located along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and are available year-round. These sites are remote and require at least a half-mile hike to reach. Some require up to a ten-mile hike to reach. They are not accessible by vehicle and all equipment must be backpacked into the site and refuse must be carried out.

Pets are permitted in most of the camping areas, as well as on most trails, roads, and outlying areas. They are not permitted in picnic areas of the state park, nor are they allowed on playgrounds, beaches, marked nature trails, or the cross-country ski areas. There are also pet free campsite areas available for those who want to be away from pets. The Kettle Moraine State Forest is a great location near the city of Milwaukee that seems miles away from urban living.

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