Boat Launches

Boat Launch

4/17/19 Pier Installation Update: Brittingham, Law, Marshall, Olin, Olbrich, Tenney, Vilas, and Wingra piers are now in! We anticipate the process to install piers throughout our system to continue through the beginning of May. Warner pier is installed. Visit Projects for information on the parking lot renovation and anticipated reopening. 

Launch your watercraft or ATV!

Madison Parks maintains a number of sight-seeing and boat launch piers throughout the city's lakefront parks. The piers are put in during the springtime and removed again in late fall.  

Permit (Ordinance 8.215):
  • A daily or annual Lake Access Permit is required year-round for launching a motorboat, sailboat, iceboat, canoe, kayak, or ATV from a designated lake access parking lot.
  • The permit is valid for the issue year through March 31 of the following year at designated launch sites in Madison, Monona and Dane County (see brochure map).
  • The permit should be displayed on the inside driver's side windshield.
  • The City of Madison's designated launch locations include:
    • Law
    • Marshall
    • Olbrich
    • Olin
    • Spring Harbor
    • Tenney
    • Warner
Launch Area Parking Rules and Tips (Ordinance 8.16):
  • Long stalls are for parking vehicles with trailers only. 
  • Regular-size stalls are for parking vehicles with no trailer only. 
  • Parking on the grass is prohibited.
  • When the launch parking lot is full, you must find an alternative launch site
  • Violators are subject to a citation. 
2018 Closure Notices:
  • Olin Park boat launch will be closed 10:00pm on Friday, August 10 through 4:00am on Sunday, August 12 due to the Great Taste of the Midwest event.
  • Olin Park boat launch will be closed 4:00am to 3:00pm Saturday, August 4 due to the CrossFit Games. Raindate, with the same times: Sunday, August 5.  
  • Warner Park boat launch parking lot will have limited availability beginning in late August and continuing through the end of the season. Boaters should consider using alternate locations if possible. 
  • Visit Park Projects for more information. 

  • Cherokee Marsh - South Unit (School Road) - Boat Launch

    Park: Cherokee Marsh - South Unit (School Road)
    Lake Access Permit Required: No

    Notes: The Upper Yahara River above Hwy 113 is all slow, no-wake at all times. Launch is best for canoe/kayak access.
  • Law Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Law Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes

    Notes: Parking is very limited for this location with no trailer parking available.
  • Marshall Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Marshall Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes
  • Olbrich Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Olbrich Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes

    Notes: 3401 Atwood Ave.
  • Olin Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Olin Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes
  • Spring Harbor Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Spring Harbor Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes
  • Tenney Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Tenney Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes

    Notes: 1601 Sherman Ave.
  • Vilas (Henry) Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Vilas (Henry) Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: No

    Notes: No trailer parking available.
  • Warner Park - Boat Launch

    Park: Warner Park
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes

    Notes: 1201 Woodward Drive
  • Wingra Park and Boat Livery - Boat Launch

    Park: Wingra Park and Boat Livery
    Lake Access Permit Required: No

    Notes: No trailer parking available.