Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Dane County Trails and Pending Snow

December 08, 2009
Darren Marsh, Director Land and Water Resources Dept. Parks Division 608-224-3730
Land & Water Resources

Snowmobile Trails

Due to the pending early season snowfall, Darren Marsh, Dane County Parks Director and Paul Statz, President of the Dane County Council of Snowmobile Clubs want to advise the public on the status of the County snowmobiling trail system.  Dane County is spilt into four Snowmobile Trail Quadrants: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and the Southeast.  Quadrants are opened based on the following criteria: 

q  Snowmobile Trail Program Dates: December 1st through March 31st

q  All landowners within a given trail section have provided permission to allow a snowmobile trail to cross their land.

q  The trails are properly signed and marked.

q  There is at least (6) six inches of snow for the trail base with steady below freezing temperatures.

q  Dane County makes an official announcement when trails will open. Notification is provided by press release, 24/7 Trails Information Line (608) 242-4576 and on the Parks website:  Trail Information is updated at 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

Currently, the snowmobile trails in the Southwest Quadrant are not ready to open.  The Southwest Quadrant is bordered on the north by Highway 18/151, including the Military Ridge Trail and on the east by Highway 14.  No matter how much snow is received within the next couple of days, these trails will remain closed due to the late corn harvest. 

Statz asks that snowmobilers to be respectful of the private lands and the late harvesting operation and not to venture on any closed trails.  Marsh added that not only can you receive a citation for being in a closed area, but with over 95% of our trail system located on private lands, the last thing we want is to see happen is for a landowner to be unsatisfied and not allow any future snowmobiling.

Snowmobilers need to check with each county before crossing county lines to make sure trails are open, stated Marsh.  There are adjacent counties such as Columbia, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk that will remain closed due the delayed agricultural harvest, antlerless deer season (12/10-12-13) and trail opening dates.

Cross Country Ski Trails

Darren Marsh, Dane County Parks Director, stated that parks staff would begin working on conditioning the ski trails as soon as conditions allow.  Parking lots and open trail access points will receive the first service.  Crews will then start by packing trails, packing down the snow before it is blown-off.  The deeper the snow depth is for the trail base, the more future grooming and conditioning that can be done.  Trail work will start in the Capital Springs Recreation Area at Lake Farm Park and Nine Springs E-Way, then move to Token Creek Park.

For the most current information, please call the Parks Information Line at 608-242-4576 for visit the Parks website at