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Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

Winter Recreation: Cross-Country Skiing 

Seven designated and groomed cross-country skiing trails throughout the park system. 
  • FREE-TO-USE: Four groomed trails are free-to-use (Cherokee Marsh South, Door Creek, Owen and Turville Point).
  • PERMIT REQUIRED: Elver, Odana Hills, and Yahara Hills are groomed more regularly as conditions allow and require a daily or annual Cross-Country Ski Permit for anyone aged 16 years or older. (scroll to green Purchase Permit button).
  • RESTROOMS: Available at Elver, Owen, Odana (portable) and Yahara (portable). 
  • SNOW LOOP at Elver Park: Thanks to our partnership with the Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) and the support of the Madison Nordic Ski Club (MadNorSki), Elver Park has a regularly groomed machine-made snow loop. Ski trail conditions are posted by volunteers & users here.
    • Snow-making for the loops is on-going. Please stay clear of all equipment. Do not ski over power cords. 
  • SKI RENTALS: Classic ski rentals, sleds, and ice skates are available. See Elver Park for hours and rates. 
  • COVID-19 safety precautions: the shelter at Elver Park is closed to the public. 
  • Learn more about cross-country skiing in Madison Parks:

2021 Permit Fees

A daily or annual Cross-Country Ski Permit is required for all trails at Elver ParkOdana Hills, and Yahara Hills for skiers aged 16 and older. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, permits are not available on-site and must be purchased online or by calling (608) 266-4711.
Daily $7
Annual $30
Senior (65+) & Disabled $15
Replacement $12
  • A 2021 Permit is valid from the time of purchase through December 31, 2021. 
  • A 2022 Permit will be available for purchase around November 15 and is valid through December 31. 2022. 
  • Valid for Dane County Parks trails also. 

purchase permit


  • OPEN = trail is snow-covered, skiable with most recent grooming date listed. 
  • CLOSED = skiing is not advised or permitted
  • Ski trails typically open after the first snowfall over 4" depending on the type of snow and trail conditions.
  • Fee-based trails (Elver, Odana Hills and Yahara Hills) are groomed more frequently, as conditions allow and for both skate and classic skiing.
  • Free ski trails are tracked or roll groomed for classic cross-country skiing. 
  • We may not be able to groom or we may need to close a trail to preserve the trail condition. This website is updated as soon as information from the field is available.
  • Permit fees are non-refundable

  • Follow directional arrows. Some trails are marked for one-way use
  • Trails are rated for difficulty at the trailhead
  • Skiers stay on groomed trails only
  • No dogs, horses, snowboards, motor vehicles, hiking or snowshoeing on groomed trails
  • Slower skiers please stay to the right