Unplug in Dodge County!

Published On: Thursday, September 17, 2020By Categories: Blog, Community Partnerships, Outdoor Recreation, Special Features

We are happy to partner with Jefferson County Tourism to share all the great things there are to do in nearby Dodge County! Along with the Jefferson County Top 5 Things to Do, here are some great options to explore in Dodge County.

The nation’s longest running tourism show, Discover Wisconsin, recently aired an episode telling visitors to “Unplug in Dodge County.” We invite you to do just that! You’re welcome to bring your devices, but we promise you will only need them to take a lot of pictures. The county is rich with recreational activities and experiences, which has made it a very popular destination this year.  Let’s explore!


Horicon Marsh

Your visit to Dodge County isn’t complete without a stop at Horicon Marsh. Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the contiguous United States with over 33,000 acres of wetland.  The area is a habitat for all types of wildlife including endangered species.  The marsh is also known for having the largest migratory flock of Canadian geese in the world – with over 200,000 geese gathering!  Migration can be enjoyed starting in mid-September, with peak typically occurring in mid-October. The visitor center remains closed at this time, but the hiking, biking, and auto tours remain open.


The Wild Goose State Trail is an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts.  This 34-mile trail is open year-round for hiking and biking, with sections open for snowmobiling and ATV use at designated times of the year. There is also a 14-mile pathway along the trail for horseback riding. The Wild Goose Trail runs through the countryside, providing beautiful views and abundant wildlife. The county is also home to the Gold Star Trail, which serves as a memorial to fallen service members of Dodge County. Several miles of the trail are complete, with the trail to be 15 miles in length once finished.

Rivers and Lakes

Horicon Marsh is an excellent way to explore the water by kayak or canoe, but it isn’t the only water source to enjoy. The Rock River runs through the county, with the Rock River Trail being the first designated National Water Trail.  The trail starts in Waupun, and travels 320 miles to the Mississippi in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa. You can also enjoy the Crawfish River and the Beaver Dam River.  Fish them, paddle them, experience them. The county is also rich with lakes.  Beaver Dam lake is the 16th largest lake in Wisconsin and provides plenty of room for water recreation of all kinds! You can also enjoy the wildlife-haven Lake Sinissippi, Fox Lake, Lake Emily, and Lost Lake.  By now you can imagine the picturesque scenery as you make your way through Dodge County.


The Dodge County park system is full of recreational opportunities! Astico, Derge, Harnischfeger, Ledge, Nitschke Parks, and the Wild Goose Trail are open! They all have unique amenities which could include kayak/canoe access, fishing, playgrounds, hiking, cross-country skiing, and camping. Harnischfeger Park includes miniature golf, disc golf, horseback riding, and lots of space to picnic as a group.


Dodge County is rich with history as shown in our communities. Visit Beaver Dam, Fox Lake, Waupun, Columbus, Mayville, Hartford, Hustisford, and Watertown (which is also in Jefferson County).  You’ll find unique shops, exciting events, great supper clubs (a Wisconsin must!), antiquing, and nationally-recognized historical locations, including the First Kindergarten in America found in Watertown. Best of all, you will be treated with small-town hospitality. While our communities are open and ready to welcome you, we strongly encourage you reach out to your specific destination prior to your visit to learn about safety precautions and potential changes in hours of operation.


This is a small summary of our beautiful county. We look forward to your visit and encourage you to learn more by visiting us on Facebook, or by browsing our digital Visitor Guide. See you soon!




Robin Kaufmann is the Tourism Manager for the city of Watertown. She eats, sleeps, and breathes travel in her personal and professional life. She is the voice of Watertown Tourism, and the Facebook specialist for Enjoy Jefferson County Tourism.


Sprouting Acres contest winner June 2022


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