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

Got the winter blues already? Dane County Parks offers some great outdoor winter activities!

January 08, 2010
Darren Marsh, Director Dane County Parks Division 608-224-3766
Land & Water Resources

Got the winter blues already? Dane County Parks offers some great outdoor winter activities that appeal to the whole family, such as snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking.

Dane County is a winter destination for Midwest snowmobilers. Area snowmobile clubs have developed approximately 500 miles of trails that will lead you over picturesque hills and through valleys, linking to trails that can take you all over the State.
There are beautiful, maintained cross-country ski trails in the Capital Springs State Recreation Area located at Lake Farm Park and the Nine Springs E-Way, as well as CamRock, Indian Lake and Token Creek County Parks. Our initial snowfall gave us a great base to work from and with more anticipated snowfall, trails should be in terrific condition for a healthy, scenic and thoroughly enjoyable outing.

In the winter, the disc golf course at Token Creek Park is turned into a designated snowshoe trail, and of course, snowshoers can explore all of the unique features of the Dane County parklands, remembering, however, to stay off groomed ski trails.

Here’s a great way to cure cabin fever! Take your dog and set out for some winter hiking. Packed trails are available at all Dane County dog exercise areas and hikers can also trek through parklands, remembering to stay off groomed ski trails. Dogs are welcome at all Dane County parks with a permit, but must be on-leash unless in an official off-leash area.

Indian Lake County Park has a wonderful little sledding hill, located by the warming cabin, that’s great fun for our smaller patrons!

Dane County lakes offer some of the finest ice fishing found in the mid-west. If you’re looking for excellent fishing opportunities, the Yahara chain of Lakes is a fantastic place to start! Dane County maintains five lake access points and is in partnership with the City of Madison and the City of Monona for access to other great fishing locations.

Permits are required for lake access, cross-country skiing and dog exercise areas. These may be purchased online at, at trail heads and dog exercise areas, or by calling the Parks office at 608-224-3730. For 24/7 trail information, please call our Information Line at 608-242-4576, or visit our website at

Enjoy the winter season at Dane County Parks!