Lake Kegonsa State Park

Lake Kegonsa State Park

We didn’t spend a lot of time at Lake Kegonsa State Park on this our first visit. It was our second park of the day, after Governor Nelson State Park, and we were getting tired.

What little we did see was interesting though. We hiked the short Oak Knoll Trail loop, and I got to see my first (as far as I can recall) fen!

The fen at Lake Kegonsa State Park

Did you know that a fen, a marsh, a swamp, and a bog are all different types of wetlands?

Me neither. I thought they were all pretty much interchangeable. Not so, according to Wikipedia.

Just off the path that leads from the Oak Knoll Trail to the fen is this sandy little area that opens onto Lake Kegonsa itself.

Lake Kegonsa

And that’s just about all we saw of the park.

At the end of the Oak Knoll loop, I saw a large bird flying over the trees. I couldn’t identify it, but I know it wasn’t an eagle. I mention that because, then we noticed this nest on a platform atop a pole just outside the park.

Bird nest atop pole at Lake Kegonsa

A closeup shot revealed a bird with a white head that just might be an eagle.

Bird in nest at Lake Kegonsa State Park

Unfortunately, the bird didn’t stir from its nest while we were there.

The park offers several other short trails, each under a mile long, that are mostly loops – which is always nice. There are the Bluebird, Prairie, and White Oak Nature trails.

However, if you visit in winter for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, these trails acquire new, colorful names. The White Oak Nature Trail becomes the Green Trail, as does the family campground area. The Prairie Trail is the Blue Trail. And the Bluebird Trail is the Yellow Trail. (Why the Bluebird isn’t called the Blue and the White Oak isn’t called the White, I dunno.)

Also, the Oak Knoll Trail is designated as a Snowshoe Trail.

To help you sort this all out, the DNR has nicely provided six different maps (see below) of the park. There is a summer map, a winter map, a family campground map, a group campground map, a hunting and trapping map, and a lake map.

Hunters, note that a little more than half the park is off limits to you, due to the many camping areas found there. Ice fishers, note that the park staff does not monitor the ice thickness, so you’re on your own there.

If those maps aren’t enough to keep you on the right track in Lake Kegonsa State Park, maybe you better stay home and leave the fun for the rest of us.

Location

Nearest City

Stoughton, Wisconsin (5 miles)

Nearest Emergency Facility

Stoughton, Wisconsin (5 miles)

Hours

6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, year-round

Cost

Vehicle admission sticker required

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