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

Dane County reminds snowmobilers that trails do not open until December. The County Parks provides for many other winter recreational activities

November 24, 2014
Darren Marsh, Parks Director (608) 224-3766 Erika Hotchkiss, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator (608) 224-3762
Land & Water Resources

Dane County snowmobile trails do not open prior to December 1st and policy also requires verification that trails are marked and ready for use. Once trails are ready for use the trail opening policy requires a minimum of 6” of snow for the trail base along with an extended time below freezing temperatures.


Dane County Parks is a winter destination for snowmobilers providing over 500 miles snowmobile trails.   Dane County works closely Dane County Council of Snowmobile Clubs and its 17 snowmobile clubs, made up of all volunteers, grooms and maintains the trail system. The majority of these winter trails are located on private lands and are only available for snowmobiling.


“I realize that everyone is eager to hit the trails with the first snowfalls”, stated Duane Meyers, President, Dane County Council of Snowmobile Clubs. “However, there is a lot of preparation and work that goes into this seasonal trail system”. He encourages snowmobilers to get involved with their local club to help out.  For more information on how you can get involved visit the Dane County Council of Snowmobile Clubs Websiteat       


Other Winter Recreation Opportunities


Dane County Parks offers many winter recreational opportunities. Now that ice is forming over our lakes and snow covers the ground, it’s time to pull out your skis , skates, snowshoes, sleds, ice fishing gear, and  winter hiking boots as the new outdoor season gets underway.  For a listing of all the winter recreational opportunities, you can visit Dane County Parks Website at


Cooperative Cross Country Skiing Program– Dane County Parks and the City of Madison Parks provide for over 30 miles of maintained and groomed cross country ski trails.  A Ski Trail permit is required to use the designated ski trails. The county cross country skiing sites include:  CamRock Park, Lake Farm Park (Capital Springs Recreation Area), Indian Lake Park (most popular) and Token Creek Park.


Lake Access – Dane County Parks provides year round lake access points throughout the county.  The Lake Access Program includes the cities of Madison and Monona. Sites are mostly boat launches and parking areas maintained specifically for lake uses including ice fishing, skating and all other winter recreation activities on our lakes.   A lake access permit is required for using designated Lake Access Sites. 


Snowshoeing and Hiking – Over the last few years, there has been a surge in the number of park patrons snowshoeing and hiking.  Since the designated ski trails are off limits to snowshoeing and hiking, an emphasis has been made to create new snowshoe trails and hiking trails throughout the county.  New winter trails include Capital Springs Recreation Area, Donald Park, McCarthy Park and Festge Park.


Sledding Hills– Dane County has three parks popular for sledding: CamRock Park Area #3, Indian Lake (cabin site) and Lake View Hill Park. 


Dog Parks– The dog parks are year round use areas.  The Cooperative Dog Park Program that includes Dane County and the Cities of Madison, Middleton and Sun Prairie are a great way to keep not only your pet in good shape over the winter, but the entire family.  Dane County Provides large regional parks including: Badger Prairie, Capital Springs Recreation Area, Indian Lake Park, Prairie Moraine Park; Token Creek Park, Yahara Heights Park and Viking Park. 


All 2015 Park Permits go on sale starting December 1, 2014.  For up to date winter trail conditions, you may call our 24/7 Trails Information line at (608) 242-4576 or visit our website at