Governor Nelson State Park

Trip Advisor

Key Information

Contact Info



5140 Co Hwy M, Waunakee, WI 53597, United States

Opening Hours




Introduction of Governor Nelson State Park

Governor Nelson State Park is a 422-acre Wisconsin state park located outside of Waunakee, Wisconsin in the town of Westport on the north shore of Lake Mendota. It is named for former Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson. On most days the Wisconsin State Capitol building can be seen in nearby Madison.


Sea Road Governor Nelson State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

Governor Nelson State Park Activities


Boats, sailboards, and personal watercraft are not permitted within the designated swim area, and boaters must travel at a slow, no-wake speed within 100 feet of the swim buoys.


Lake Mendota has an abundance of game and pan fish, allowing for year-round fishing. A fishing pier adjacent to the boat landing offers visitors a great place to fish or simply relax and enjoy the feel of the lake.


Hike 8.4 miles of trails in the spring, summer, and fall through a variety of ecological communities, including oak woodland and savannah, as well as mesic and wet prairies. The trails are brimming with wildflowers.


Grills are available in the picnic area. The park does not allow fires. If you bring your own grill, please dispose of your hot coals in the picnic areas. The picnic shelter can accommodate up to 70 people. You’re organising a company picnic, a family reunion, or a birthday party! To reserve the picnic shelter in the beach picnic area overlooking Lake Mendota, contact the park. Call to inquire about available dates.

Alcohol is permitted in the park. Underage drinking or possession of alcohol is illegal. A photo ID is required.

Governor Nelson State Park Location

Governor Nelson State Park is located on the southeast side of County Highway M, approximately 2 miles west of State Highway 13 and 4.7 miles east of U.S. Highway 12.


Parking is available.

Public Transport

Public Transport is not available

Governor Nelson State Park Photos

Governor Nelson State Park Map