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

Park Commission to Hold Public Hearing on 2011 Proposed Dane County Parks Fees

October 06, 2010
Darren Marsh, Director Dane County Parks 608-224-3766
Land & Water Resources

The Dane County Park Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2011 Parks Fees at their regular meeting on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 5:15 PM at Lyman F. Anderson Agriculture & Conservation Center, 1 Fen Oak Court, Madison, WI 53718.

The Dane County Park Commission has the responsibility to set the fee structure for services provided in the County Parks. “I believe the County Parks Division has worked hard to control costs while still maintaining excellent services,” stated Park Commission Chair Bill Lunney.  In 2009, the Park Commission elected not to raise any permit fees, last year the Commission elected to make a few modest increases in a few service areas,” Lunney added.

“Dane County Parks charges service fees in the form of user permits to help offset the operation and maintenance costs associated with various park activities,” said Darren Marsh, Parks Director.  These fees allow Parks to provide services for specific types of activities where the user helps offset the cost.  In addition there are a number of activities that fall under cooperative fee systems and managed by multiple communities, including Lake Access Sites, Dog Exercise Areas and Cross-Country Ski Trails.

Marsh noted that patrons can purchase permits in several different ways: online at, at the County parks, or the Park office on Fen Oak Court.  The online service provides an easy way to purchase annual permits, as well as make reservations for shelters and campsites.

For more information on fees and other park information, please contact Dane County Parks at (608) 244-3766 or visit the website at

2011 Recommendations Highlighted

For the entire list of current and proposed park fees, visit the Park website at

Camping:  There are five county campgrounds, four offer electrical hookups.  The county is proposing a $2 increase for an electrical site from $23 to $25 per night.

Dog Exercise Area: The Dog Exercise area is a cooperative permit program that includes the City of Madison, City of Middleton and City of Sun Prairie.  Annual permit fee would increase by $2, while the daily fee remains unchanged.  The annual permit is $25 and the proposed fee is $27.  As part of the Capital Springs State Park and Recreation Area Master Plan, the County is creating a 40-acre dog exercise area adjacent to Lake Farm County Park.  The new area will be opening in 2011.

Lake Access Sites: The Lake Access Site program is a cooperative program between Cities of Madison, Monona and Dane County.  The annual fee has not changed in four years.  The proposed fee increase is $5.  The daily access fee would not change.

Tenney Lock Fee:  The Tenney Lock Fee has not changed in the last 6 years. The permit fee was established to help offset operational costs for the updated boat lock.  The current annual fee is $20 and the proposed fee $30.  The daily fee would stay the same.

County Trails:  The County Trail program includes joint City of Madison/County cross–country groomed skiing areas.  The annual trail fee would increase to $4 and the daily fee would increase by $2.  In 2009 Dane County invested approximately $70,000 for ski trail grooming equipment.  The new equipment that was put into operation last winter included a $54,000 ASV Groomer and approximately $16,000 for a new snowmobile and drag system. 

Annual permits for Mountain bike and equestrian trails are also proposed to increase $2.

Disc Golf:  The proposed daily permit fee increase for the Vallarta / Ast Disc Golf Course at Token Creek County Park is $1.  The annual permit would not change.  The County is currently developing plans to expand the Vallarta / Ast Course from 18 to 27 holes.  The County is also in the process of developing a new Disc Golf Course within the Capital Springs State Recreation Area adjacent to Lake Farm County Park.