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Review Highlights
Beautiful lake views and trails for miles.

This is a great place for a lakeside picnic - swimming and a playground are a short walk from a... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Depends on what you are looking for

This is a VERY small park. I have been there several times and the only time I saw more than about... read more

Reviewed August 31, 2018
Read all 27 reviews
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent54%
  • Very good29%
  • Average14%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“nice beach”(4 reviews)
“dog beach”(3 reviews)
“lake mendota”(5 reviews)
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5410 County Hwy. M, Waunakee, WI
+1 608-831-3005
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Reviews (27)
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All reviews nice beach dog beach lake mendota state park prairie woods hiking paths miles algae playground picnic hike boats lakes wind swimming
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1 - 10 of 26 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a great place for a lakeside picnic - swimming and a playground are a short walk from a large parking lot. We enjoy hiking in the woods and on the high prairie, and the dogs love a swim at the dog beach. Get...More

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank GrandTour781176
Reviewed August 31, 2018

This is a VERY small park. I have been there several times and the only time I saw more than about 4-5 cars is on a Halloween. They sometimes do a candle light hike and picnic type thing. It is nice being outdoors, on the...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank stabone76
Reviewed July 5, 2018 via mobile

Stopped in on our way back from The Dells. Beautiful hike through prairie landscape but due to the excessive heat and the huge amount of mosquitoes we had to cut it short. The beach was closed as well to algae but seems to be a...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank naturalchaos79
Reviewed June 19, 2018 via mobile

Great place for a picnic. Parking for handicap is challenging but we managed. Family with boats came and able to anchor close to the beach and walk to picnic area. You will have a good time.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank dee A
Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile

Close and convenient state park with miles of trails spanning Forrest to prairie vistas on Lake Mendota.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Z0e2014
Reviewed July 17, 2017 via mobile

I love cross country skiing along the lake and the views here are incredible. Great summer hiking and nice beach.

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank 4csmiley
Reviewed July 8, 2017

I took my two girls (ages 2 and 4) to the beach area at Governor Nelson SP on a weekday afternoon. The park is easy to get to from Madison, parking is plentiful, and the beach was not crowded (maybe about 4-5 other families), which...More

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Megan M
Reviewed June 2, 2017 via mobile

This state park is in honor of Gaylord Nelson the founder of Earth Day. You may see Sandhill Cranes. There is a Crane crossing on the park road. Be sure to drive slow. Bring your boat. I have been told the fishing is good. There...More

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank limey52
Reviewed March 14, 2017

Gov. Nelson state park is located on the north shore of lake Mendota less than ten minutes from Madison. In spite of the convenience and beauties of the park it is largely overlooked by nature lovers. This is too bad, because it has several miles...More

Date of experience: October 2016
Thank gbmorr
Reviewed July 24, 2016

Hiking trails are nice, with lots of raspberry bushes to pick from. Good parking, though very crowded. Beach is VERY scummy. My advice for a beach with kids would be Stewart Lake near Mt. Horeb(30 min. from Gov. Nelson on CTH JG.)

Date of experience: June 2016
1  Thank Bruce K
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