Ottawa Lake’s campground is located in the southern unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest, situated within half an hour’s drive from Milwaukee. Wisconsin campers of all ages love these grounds thanks to lakefront sites, modern facilities, and access to trails for hikers of every experience level. South Kettle Moraine is also home to over 160 miles of trails, including 87 miles open to horse use. Connect to the Ice Age Scenic Trail and various others within the John Muir and Emma Carlin trail systems.
Don’t forget to bring your rods when camping at Ottawa Lake! You’ll want to take full advantage of the boat dock and fishing pier where you can catch panfish, walleye, muskie, trout, bass, and northern pike – then you can grill them up at your campsite. Keep in mind, motorboats are not permitted on this small lake, which allows for peaceful wading and quieter camping all around.
Though Ottawa Lake is open year-round, it is recommended to check the weather in Dousman and Whitewater before planning trips in the colder months, as freezing temperatures and snow are common. Cold-weather campers who are willing to brave the Wisconsin winter will enjoy snowmobile trails, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. No matter when you visit, Ottawa Lake will leave you satisfied.
The campground is well kept with several bathrooms and showers. We have a 30ft travel trailer, and it was easy to maneuver around the campground. We did have to wait in line to fill the water tank, but the water pressure was good and it didn’t take too long. We stayed at site 327e, which was very easy to back in to and was mostly level. Easy access to electrical and plenty of space for slide outs. A nice big fire pit with large flat grate for cooking, one of the best set ups I’ve seen. Would be perfect, but there’s a loud highway WI-67 traffic about 20 ft from the campsite. Tons of loud motorcycles and trucks with constant traffic. If you want solitude I would avoid sites 305e-328e, all of the odd number sites back up to the road. Evens, except for 328e, are inside and are better. Video shows traffic and noise. I would come back, but pick a site inside the campground and away from highway.
Absolutely beautiful, reasonable prices, electric available. Tons of restrooms, showers, laundry, and wonderful camp hosts. Huge beach area, dog park, fishing as well. Shop to buy items you may need and absolutely wonderful place. Open all year round
Had a great time here in April. Plenty of trails in the area for a day hike. Loved it so much that i already booked another trip!
Feel free to check out my youtube video of the trip, and please like and subscribe if you want to see more adventures!
Nice size camp sites. More privacy as trees and bushes fill out throughout the spring. Shower house no hot water, made for a quick shower.
We stayed in site 334; absolutely gorgeous space. Very nearby and convenient pit toilet, well maintained fire ring, nice sandy spots for tents and a beautiful view of the marsh. It was a bit if a bike from the parking area, so keep your packing to a minimum or bring a heavy duty cart to pack it all in and out. We had to bug out a day early because of some weather, but will definitely try to book this site again
We've stayed here twice. Nice, clean, well-run campground with some electric sites and several bathroom/shower buildings if needed. Nice little lake to swim or paddle on. 20 minute drive to the awesome Kettle Moraine biking trails. Yee haw!
I've been to Ottawa Lake many times before, and really appreciate the spaciousness of the sites. There are a great mix of options for campsite ranging from almost full sun on the natural Wisconsin prairie or nicely shaded woodsy campsites.
There are many options for hiking since this campground is part of Kettle Moraine State Park.
The beach is pretty large and swimming is excellent. They've been restoring part of the beach in the last few years and it is looking great. The population of sandhill cranes in this area seems to be growing, as we saw a few pairs of them while camping here as well.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time, this time I got to test the Primus Essential Stove (1.3L).
I've got plenty of experience with camping and backpacking stoves, ranging from DIY beer can alcohol stoves up to Coleman Duel Fuel Powerhouse classic camp stove.
- The Essential Stove is suitable for backpacking or regular camping, and it includes the essentials: 2 pot, a pan, a pot holder, and the burner. Everything nests together in a nice little package.
- The stove is plenty powerful and was able to get our coffee percolator boiling in only a couple minutes.
- The details are nice: they put rubber/silicone feet on the bottom and on the pot holder, just adding a bit of finish to a functional set
What's not great
- The way the hose folds into the stove when stored is a little awkward at first. After using it a few times, it's more natural and not a big deal, but this could be improved.
- "With great power comes great responsibility…" It doesn't have a great "Low". In order to prevent our coffee from boiling out of the percolator, I tried to turn it down, but accidentally turned it off. There isn't a great simmer option…the low is not very low.
Overall, it is a nice kit and I will be lending it to some friends to an upcoming backpacking trip.
I would give Ottawa 5 stars but unless you jump on the lakeside campsites early, the 5-10 mike drive from your campsite to the lake can be a little annoying; obviously not at all the state park’s fault.
The Ottawa Lake campsites are clean and convenient. Each site comes with a fire pit and grate, a picnic table, and two spaces for parking. We love camping at Ottawa with our kids because it’s so family-friendly.
Ottawa Lake itself is very clean and a great spot for swimming. The lake has a very large space for wading. You can go out about 100 feet from shore and still be in only about 5-6‘ of water. Ottawa Lake is relatively small, so no motorcraft are allowed. It makes for peaceful swimming and fishing.
Perfect for a couple days in the woods. Like most of Wisconsins' parks and forests, Ottawa lake is no different. Offers clean and quiet settings and facilities,. Close enough to metropolitan areas but not too close. All have feeling of being in the north woods with out the travel. Busiest days are after memorial day weekend and to labor day weekend.
Made my first visit to Ottawa Lake on a mid-March weekend. The facilities were still under their winter setup (only vault toilet, no shower available, pay in an envelope). It was a very nice campsite that I stayed at. The grounds were quiet, however there were only a handful of people staying there at the time. The sites look to have enough space between the to make you feel a little more spread out and not sitting on top of each other. It got cold (cloudless late winter nights in Wisconsin can do that), but nothing you can’t prepare for. The proximity to the Ice Age Trail is a bonus, because it made for an easy activity without much fuss. Will visit again when warmer.