Putting in at the Cox Hollow Lake Boat Ramp

Very clear lake

Other paddlers on the lake

Snails were everywhere

Scenic shoreline

Great blue heron hunting fish

Painted turtles

Surprising number of pines for a southern lake

Around the corner is the south lobe of the lake

Pine Cliff

View of the beach

This feeds Twin Valley Lake…but is too small to paddle

Governor Dodge State Park has a fantastic trail system

Stephens Falls is definitely worth checking out

Lot of other great places in the park to explore


Cox Hollow Lake

September 3rd, 2012
NW Boat Landing
NW Boat Landing
2 Miles

This is the smaller of  two man-made lakes in Governor Dodge State Park.  Cox Hollow is a pleasant paddle that has abundant wildlife (blue herons, eagles, clams, snails, turtles and much more from what I saw).  This and it’s sibling lake, Twin Valley, prohibit motor traffic, which is always a very big plus when it comes to kayaking.  

You can put in at the beach at the north, but it’s a little hike to the parking lot and this tends to be very crowded.  The boat landing on the northwest side is perfect for put-ins and it has bathrooms.  Paddling around, there aren’t too many special features of Cox Hollow.  The shoreline is a nice wooded area with occasional boulders.  The marquee attraction on the lake is a massive bluff on the south side of the lake that you will see as you go around the corner (Pine Cliff?). 

As you round the lake, you’ll see the dike on the east.  I had hoped to portage this, but this didn’t seem practical.  There is a trail system next to and on top of the dike, but after the lake spills over the dam, the resulting stream is just too paltry to paddle and the distance to Twin Valley lake is too much to walk.  You don’t have to get out of your boat to explore the dike/dam/creek/trail area as there is access from the beach.  I suspect Twin Valley is a nicer paddle, from what I’ve seen (minus the nice mega bluff), but I didn’t have the time to paddle it then. 

If you are in the park, there are various non-paddling things to do.  Stephens Falls is probably the marquee attraction of the park, and if you are willing to hike a bit, there is a nice cave on Cave Trail.  If you enjoy hiking, there are plenty of hiking paths in the park to choose from.

Trip Map

View Cox Hollow Lake in a larger map


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