Find Us on

Wisconsin State Park Dog Information

Wisconsin State Parks

101 S. Webster Street

PO Box 7921

Madison, WI 25303

Wisconsin State Park Pet Policy



Responsible pet owners and their pets are welcome in Wisconsin State Parks. Here are a few simple rules to ensure that you, your pet, and other visitors will enjoy the park. These rules apply to all pets except service animals helping people with disabilities.


Some Areas Especially Welcome Pets


Pets are permitted in most campgrounds, trails, roads, and outlying areas of the parks.


Here are some areas that welcome pets:


* Pets are welcomed at the Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area either off or on leash except for the picnic area.

* Flambeau River State Forest has a dog-friendly picnic area at Connors Lake.

* Governor Dodge State Park has a pet swim area next to each swimming beach. There are also designated pet picnic areas close to each beach were pets are permitted.

* Governor Nelson State Park has a pet beach (swim) area. Pets must be on leash unless they are in the water. Normally the beach has a pier to teach pets to jump into the water.

* High Cliff State Park has two pet picnic areas. One is in the lower park, near the park office, with a swimming area in the pond. The other is near the pavilion.

* Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit has:

A designated pet picnic area with tables and grills at Mauthe Lake

A designated pet picnic area with tables and grills at Long Lake

A wet dog training area where dogs can be trained in water skills

A dry dog training area where dogs can be trained in upland bird skills


* Kohler-Andrae State Park has a designated beach where leashed dogs are allowed.


* Lake Kegonsa State Park has a pet beach (swim) area. Pets must be on leash unless they are in the water. Normally the beach has a pier to teach pets to jump into the water, but the pier is out when water levels are high.


* Northern Highland - American Legion State Forest has a dog-friendly picnic area at the Crystal and Muskie day use area.


* Pattison State Park allows dogs on the 4-mile Logging Camp Trail, Big Falls Trail, small picnic areas at Big Falls and Little Falls, and an area next to the main picnic area. A 1-mile-long dog trail links into the Logging Camp Trail. This trail is part of the cross-country ski trail and gets muddy during wet weather.


* The beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park is open to pets.


* Richard Bong State Recreation Area has a designated area for teaching dogs to retrieve, point, flush, and/or track game for the purpose of hunting or dog trial competition. The area is used for training on foot, with horses and in the water. It is in the Special Uses Zone in the southwest area of the park. A license is required to train if live birds or ammunition is used.

Dog trainers are serious about training, have paid their license fee and do not appreciate pet dogs running loose while they are training. Please keep in mind that live ammunition is used in the dog training area.


Many local and county parks have areas where dogs can exercise off leash. Rules and fees vary.


Some Areas Are Off Limits.


Pets are not allowed in the following places:


* Buildings

* Picnic areas and picnic shelters

* Beaches, except the designated "dogs allowed" beaches listed above.

* Playgrounds

* Marked nature trails, including the trails around the waterfalls at Copper Falls and Paradise Springs at Kettle Moraine State Forest—Southern Unit.

* Cross-country ski trails when groomed for skiing

* Observation towers

* Indoor group camps and related facilities at Wyalusing State Park, Kettle Moraine State Forest—Northern Unit, MacKenzie Environmental Center and Black River State Forest.

* Designated "pet-free areas" at:

- The Devil's Lake South Shore area, except on paved roads and walkways en route to areas where pets are allowed

- Loop 1 of Pinewoods family and group campground and the west loop of Whitewater campground in Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit

- Aztalan State Park

- Governor Nelson State Park

- Parts of Havenwoods State Forest

- Parts of the Nelson Dewey State Park campground

- Parts of the Rock Island State Park campground

- Parts of the Tower Hill State Park campground


* Anywhere in

- Copper Culture State Park

- Heritage Hill State Park


Keep your pet on a leash.


Pets must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet at all times. Using a leash helps prevent your pet from bothering people, especially people with other pets. Leashing your pet also can help you control what your pet can eat or drink, helping ensure its safety and health.


Pets must be under control.


Pets must be under control at all times. Pet owners are not allowed to let their pets interfere in any manner with other people's enjoyment of the park. Pet owners who fail to properly control a pet or whose pet creates a public nuisance or other disturbance may be asked to leave the park or may be issued citations. Leaving your pet unattended for periods of time is inconsiderate to other park users and exposes you to potential problems.


Loose pets may be seized.


Loose pets may be seized and are subject to local laws pertaining to stray animals. Owners of loose pets may be ticketed. If your pet is lost, inform a park ranger and immediately call the local authorities to find the location of the nearest stray-holding facility.


Be nice to your pet.


- Leaving your pet unattended in the park is no fun for your pet and is inconsiderate to other park users.

- Make sure your pet has plenty of water and food.

- Don't forget that temperatures inside a closed vehicle in the summer can quickly reach dangerous levels for your pet.

- Be careful when choosing where to tie your pet in the campsite, so that children or other visitors will not be frightened or bitten.

- Make sure your pet has a current rabies vaccination and an identification tag in case it is separated from you. If you travel often with your pet you may wish to buy your pet an additional identification tag that includes the number where somebody can be reached when you are not at home.

- Bringing a pet to a park puts it into strange surroundings. If you're camping overnight, your pet will be more secure and less likely to bark at strange noises if you keep it in your camping unit at night.

- Remember pets are susceptible to ticks. Be sure to check your pet for ticks.

- Some mushrooms and other wild plants are poisonous to pets. Keep your pet from touching or eating any plant you're not sure is safe, and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has eaten a poisonous plant.


Dispose of waste properly.


Pet owners are responsible for proper removal and disposal of their pets' waste products. Waste should be disposed of in dumpsters or trash receptacles.


For more Information, ask Jason Fritz, chief ranger, (608) 266-2181.

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a courtesy only. The governing agency may have updated policies not reflected by information provided here. We recommend you verify current pet policies with the relevant governing agency prior to your visit. strives to ensure correct information is provided. Please notify us at if you have updated information.

© 2011
Legal Notice, Terms, and Conditions