Fall/Winter note: Water sources are turned off during cold temperatures, check with the DNR if you are unsure. Hunting is allowed in the State Forest, riders should be aware of open seasons and dress accordingly. ATV's are not allowed on the trails at any time, however the bridle trails are part of the local snowmobile trail system and once snow falls, many sleds are out. The trails are open to horses year round, but use your best judgment when it comes to riding conditions, hunters and snowmobile encounters.
Rest Stops & Restaurants
Trail Information Line, 262-594-6202
Forest Headquarters, 262-594-6200
Olseon Cabin Located near mile 26 on the Moraine Ridge Trail. It has a picnic table, two hitching posts, and mounting step.
Viele Road Rest Stop
Mile 18 on the Moraine Ridge Trail. More info coming soon.
For Current Conditions or to Report an Issue please contact the DNR
Trail Passes & State Park Sticker
Trail passes are required for all riders over the age of 16.
If you would like to support the new equestrian campground at Governor Dodge State Park you can buy your pass(es) through Friends of GD Equestrians. $5 of the $25 will go directly to their campground! (Click the image to the right to be taken to their online store) Trail passes can also be purchased through the DNR.
Parking passes are required for all vehicles.
Daily or annual passes may be purchased online, at the DNR Headquarters, or payment envelopes are found at each trailhead.
The park rangers do check, so be sure you purchase your pass and support the State Forest system!
Town of Palmyra: Night Cap Inn, T+D's Grill, Hot Rods Bar-N-Grill, Sassy's Kettle Hill Grill, Main Street Family Restaurant, Squidy's, & CJ's Coffee and Cream
From the HorseRider's Campground ride north approximately 0.7 mi on Little Prairie Road which turns into 3rd St straight into Palmyra. Note: The speed limit on Little Prairie Road is 45mph. You'll ride past Pal Steels lumber yard and cross railroad tracks. The first restaurant you'll pass is Night Cap Inn (which has hitching posts). To get to the tie stalls continue on 3rd Street then turn right onto Wilson Street. A few hundred feet and you'll see the tie stalls on your left. From the tie stalls the remaining restaurants are all within a few blocks walk. (Click the image to open a full size pdf visual).
If you'd like to get your horse some treats Wings-N-Things (a pet supply store) is also right in the center of town!
The volume of trail available to ride in the South Kettle means you'll encounter various types of terrain on your ride. In general you'll find: sand, dirt, grass, rocks, and gravel.
The Ottawa bridle trails are a little on the rocky side, but mostly softer ground. Shoes are not necessary to ride these trails, but a tender footed horse may find themselves picking their way through some sections, and shoes or protective boots may be a good preventative option.
The trails at Eagle are beautiful and sandy, with few rocks.
The Palmyra trails have some rather rocky sections due to erosion, so shoes or boots are a good option. Check with other riders for suggestions on which trails to avoid if you do not have hoof protection for your horse and are concerned with trail conditions. Often the trails headed in the direction of the Eagle trailhead are less rocky than other trails heading out of the camp.
Mueller Homestead Rest Stop
Located at mile 8 on the Moraine Ridge Trail. Off Wilton Road, Town of Eagle, it has picnic tables, two hitching posts, water spigot, and a portable toilet. It is also known as the Wilton Rd Rest Stop.
Click here for an article about the Southern Kettle Horse Trails at Equitrekking.com
Town of Eagle: Rustix, Knucklehead Pub, MP Taqueria
From the Eagle Trailhead parking lot ride the Moraine Ridge Trail (orange) approximately 1.75 miles northeast towards Ottawa. Leave the trail at Hwy 59 and ride east (right) alongside the road approximately 0.6 miles. Note: The speed limit drops from 55 mph to 30 mph shortly after the trail crosses Hwy 59 (though that doesn't mean all motorists abide). Take a right onto Railroad St. You'll cross the tracks and see the slip stalls on your left. (Click the image to open a full size pdf visual).
The Trout House at Rushing Waters
From Horserider's Campground cross Little Prairie Road and ride the Moraine Ridge Trail (orange) south towards LaGrange. Once you arrive at the Dahlin Ln Access Trail (red, with a sign labeled "Food Dead End") follow it to Dahlin Ln. Take a left onto Dahlin Ln (gravel road) which T's with Hwy H. You'll see a Rushing Waters sign to your right across the street.
You can also take the Dahlin Access trail (red) across Dahlin Ln to Hwy H. The driveway to the Trout House is straight across the street (although it does not look it on the map). A rider has noted that sometimes that trail is not easily marked to follow. After you cross the driveway's culvert you'll see a trail on the left that leads to the hitching posts. The ride is approximately 4 miles one way.
(Click the image to open a full size pdf visual).
Southern Kettle Moraine Horse Trail Association