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  • Writer's pictureDanielle St. Louis

Governor Dodge State Park (Spring)

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

Can you see any grass sprouts?

Hi! Remember us? It's been awhile since Lucky and I have been on a state park adventure and even longer since I've posted to the blog. Blogging took a back seat this winter as I tried to turn my attention to making progress on the book, A Dog Owner's Guide to Hiking Wisconsin's State Parks. Progress was made, but there's still plenty of work to do. And now that the weather is getting nicer, it's going to be hard to resist the temptation to do more research. One lesson my advisor in graduate school taught me that I will never forget is to watch out for research paralysis, aka research procrastination. It's a condition that afflicts graduate students and guide book writers alike; it's the feeling that you need to read just one more article (or hike one more trail) before you can get to writing, but that one article/trail leads to one more article/trail, and another article/trail, and another, which only continues to delay writing.

I caught a bought of research paralysis this weekend. I started working on the book entry for Governor Dodge State Park earlier in the week. Lucky and I have hiked at Governor Dodge many times, but while working on the entry, I decided I needed to hike there again before I could finish it. After all, we hadn't explored Thomas' Cave yet! Serendipitously, Saturday morning Jess texted "Wanna hike this weekend?" and we quickly made plans to go to Governor Dodge that afternoon.

When we arrived at Governor Dodge, we were disappointed to learn the caves were closed. The bats that live in the caves are still hibernating, so hikers can't visit until the bats wake up, sometime in May. With the caves out, I suggested we hike Pine Cliff Trail, one of our favorites but new to the rest of our group. Pine Cliff is always a great hike, even in the spring when everything is in a state of transition. Most of the forest was still more brown than green, but as we hiked, we noticed little tufts of grass peeking out from underneath the leaf litter and colonies of mosses jubilantly erupting on rock faces. Despite an overcast morning, the afternoon sun was enough to bring the temperature to the mid-60's, but ice still trimmed the shaded shoreline of Cox Hollow Lake. It was a perfect day for research procrastination, and this visit added another seasonal perspective to our opinion of Governor Dodge State Park. Even in spring, we love it!

Want more information about hiking with your dog at Governor Dodge State Park? Order your copy of A Dog Lover's Guide to Hiking Wisconsin’s State Parks now!

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