Lake Kegonsa State Park is located just south of Madison near the village of Stoughton. The highlight of the park is the lake and the swimming beach. There is also a small campground, so the park is ideal for families and kids.
For those that come to the park to adventure the park is alright. The Byrds and the Doobie Brothers sang a song called “Jesus is just alright,” and I feel the same about the adventure opportunities at Lake Kegonsa.
One can hike the trails in Lake Kegonsa in about two hours. There are a few good hills, so I can imagine the trails are decent for cross-country skiing in the winter. I have heard the park does a good job of maintaining them in the winter, which comes as no surprise as Wisconsin excels at cross-country skiing parks.
For such a small trail system there is a nice variety of ecosystems. The Prairie Trail takes hikers through 60 acres of restored prairie. The prairie in the park is restored and only 25 years old as the park has burned off invasive species and planted native plants.
The White Oak Nature Trail passes the campground and then loops around through an oak forest. The trail also passes a pine plantation. A side trail at the sign that states “pine plantation” takes hikers to a planted pine grove.
There are also a few trails down by the lake and beach. There is a little swamp by the beach with a wooden planked overlook. This is a great place to see waterfowl and sandhill cranes.
Besides the swimming the real allure to the park is the fishing. The park road ends at a boat launch. Anglers can catch a wide array of fish. Northern Pike in the 35-40 inch range are caught regularly according to the park guide. Panfish, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappie, perch, and muskellunge are also found here.
Kegonsa Cove in McFarland, Wisconsin is a great place for those who lack equipment. They are located five minutes from the park, and they have bait and tackle; canoe, boat, and pontoon rental; and pop, snacks, and beer. They are located on 2446 County Highway AB and their number is 608-838-6494.
Although Kegonsa State Park maybe alright for adventure, they are great for proximity to many populous cities like Madison, Janesville, Milwaukee, and only two hours from Chicago. The park is located five minutes off the interstate at the Stoughton exit 156 exit. The signs to the park and back to the interstate are easy to follow.
Kegonsa is not the number one stop in Wisconsin for adventure, but with a nice swimming and fishing lake, some decent trails, and easy access from the interstate it is worth a visit.
All Wisconsin State Parks require an entrance fee. Check this post out for information on these fees:
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