When Tom and I drove back to Ohio from Minnesota a couple of weeks ago, we made the trip in two days. Since we retired, we generally travel at a slower pace so we can see some things on the way. Because our time in Ohio is limited, we decided to push on through. The first night we stayed at a campground halfway between Grand Portage and central Ohio: the Madison KOA in DeForest, Wisconsin.
We have stayed at the Madison KOA several times. It is just north of Madison at Exit 126 on I-39/90/94. We can be off the interstate and at our campsite in less than five minutes. We also like the extras at this exit: a Culvers, a Subway, and Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet all within walking distance. We can refuel with diesel at the exit.
The Madison KOA is shaped like a semi-circle with four rings of campsites around the office, pool, playground, and campstore. There are 14 tent sites on the outer ring of the semi-circle, and 2 Kamping Kabins that have been recently renovated. There are 75 full hook-up, pull-through sites, which is a lot for most campgrounds. The sites are extremely level, requiring almost no leveling on our part. So we can pull-in and be set up in just a few minutes – very nice after driving almost 500 miles. Like all KOAs, the Madison KOA is very neat and clean.
A few years back, KOA made a distinction between resort KOAs that have lots of activities and amenities and overnight KOAs where you stay because it is convenient to the location. DeForest is an overnight KOA which has easy access to Madison and other parts of south-central Wisconsin. KOAs tend to be more expensive than other campgrounds, but we like them because we know what to expect. They are like chain hotels: you can expect a certain level of cleanliness and amenities. I also like them because you can check availability and make your reservation online. They are good at accommodating our big rig and usually keep a few slots open for last minute, one-night-only guests. We bought a KOA membership card, which saves us 10% at all KOAs.
The Madison KOA has all the things that Tom and I want when we are just stopping at a place for one night: easy on and off, pull-ins to accommodate our big rig, and someplace to eat and fuel up. We enjoy staying here and consider it one of our homes away from home.