Madison Parks Winter Fun starts this weekend

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 7:31am

Winter recreation fun starts this weekend!

Okay Everybody - We've been waiting 10 months for this…some winter fun finally coming our way.

First things, first....public safety. Tonight,Thursday and Friday Madison Parks Staff will be working on public safety issues such as snow removal on sidewalks, parking lots, roads, bus stops and bike paths. AFTER that has been addressed, staff can then turn their attention to recreation area maintenance.

Sledding Hills - Sledding hills will be snow covered and ready for sledding! Elver Park Warming House Shelter & restrooms will be open on Thursday and Friday. The sledding hills are located at: Elver, Heistand, Olbrich, Warner, Berkley, Garner and Arbor Hills Parks. Remember, sledding is at your own risk, exit the bottom of the hill and walk up the sides of the hill.

Cross-Country Ski Trails - On FRIDAY morning, staff will begin grooming ski trails. There are 32 kilometers of signed and groomed trails await cross-country skiers in 7 Madison Parks locations: Elver, Odana Hills, Door Creek, Owen, S. Cherokee Marsh, Turville Point Park, and Monona Golf course. A Cross-Country Ski Permit is required for Elver Park and Odana Hills. The lights will be on at Elver beginning Friday night. Don't have your own skis? Rental is available at Elver Park Shelter beginning Friday and Odana Hills (weekends only).

Snowshoeing - Snowshoeing is a fantastic way to experience many of our parks during the winter months. For a list of parks to snowshoe visit the website. Remember, snowshoers must stay on the conservation park trails; snowshoes are not allowed on cross country ski trails at anytime. Madison Parks does not rent snowshoes.

Ice Rinks - The weather has not been cold enough yet to make ice on the outdoor rinks. The upcoming snow cover will not help because it will create an insulating layer of snow on the rinks. Staff will work as diligently and safely as they can to get the ice rinks open as soon as we can.

Here are some perennial ice rink reminders: 1. Please stay off of the rinks until Parks staff declares it safe to skate. If there is any ice on the rinks, it is dangerously thin. Tenney and Vilas Park lagoons are up to five feet deep. Please stay off. 2. It is very important that people DO NOT shovel off the land rinks. Leaving piles of snow on the rink will create piles of ice. This will make the maintenance for the staff and the Adopt Ice Rink volunteers all the more difficult as they try to get the rinks ready. Be patient!! 3. Did we mention that you should Stay Off the Ice?

Ice Skating Lessons - registration is now open! Although the ice rinks are not open this week, the long range forecast calls for cold overnight and daytime temperatures. So ice skating isn't too far off! Madison Parks is offering ice skating lessons at Elver and Tenney Parks beginning in the first week in January. (weather permitting) Don't wait! Sign up today!

Brittle Tree Limbs - As a result of the drought, trees and tree limbs are in poor condition. Please be aware that there may be more downed limbs due to the heavy snow fall. If you see any downed trees or limbs, please call the Forestry Section at 608-266-4816 or Non-Emergency Police at 608-266-4275.

Stay updated on Winter Recreation Conditions:


  • Laura Whitmore266-5949