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Boat Launches

Boat Launch

Boat Launch & Pier News 

The following piers remain through late November. 
  • Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park, South - Yahara River
  • James Madison - Lake Mendota
  • Law - Lake Monona
  • Marshall - Lake Mendota
  • Olin - Lake Monona
  • Warner - Lake Mendota

2023 Fees 

Daily $8
Annual - Dane County Resident $50
Annual - Non-Resident $60
Annual - Dane County Senior (65+) & Disabled $25
Annual - Non-Res Senior (65+) & Disabled $30
Military/Veteran (New!) $25
Duplicate/Replacement $20

PURCHASE PERMIT

2023 permit is available Nov. 1 and is valid from the time of purchase through March 31, 2024. 
2022 permit is valid through March 31, 2023.

LAKE ACCESS PERMIT (Ordinance 8.215): See Purchase Permit 

  • A daily or annual permit is required year-round to launch a motorboat, sailboat, iceboat, canoe, kayak, or ATV.
  • Purchase permit ONLINE or by calling during regular office hours. 
  • Onsite kiosks are not available
  • Permits for the following year may be purchased starting November 1 of the previous year. 
  • The permit should be displayed on the inside driver's side windshield. 
  • The permit is valid at designated launch sites throughout Dane County. MAP

SPRING HARBOR CLOSURE NOTICE updated 09/28/2022
Improvements are coming for the boat launch at Spring Harbor Park. The Spring Park boat launch will be closed starting October 17, 2022 to allow the City of Madison Engineering Division to dredge the area. The project and closure are anticipated to be completed by March 1, 2023. For updates and to learn more about the project, visit City Engineering's Spring Harbor Dredge
TENNEY LOCKS CLOSURE NOTICE updated 08/31/2022
The Tenney Locks, managed by Dane County Land & Water, is closed for the 2022 season and until further notice due to a lightning strike and equipment failure. See DCLW for updates. 

OLBRICH BOAT LAUNCH CAUTION ADVISORY
Boaters are advised to use caution navigating the narrowed channel where the Starkweather Creek meets Lake Monona due to low lake levels and creek sediment. READ MORE

ACCESSING THE LAKES 

A daily or annual permit is required year-round at designated sites to launch a motorboat, sailboat, iceboat, canoe, kayak, or ATV (see locations below). Piers are available from spring through fall. Installation and removal are dependent on the weather and lake conditions.  

LAKE ACCESS PERMIT (Ordinance 8.215): See Purchase Permit 

  • A daily or annual permit is required year-round to launch a motorboat, sailboat, iceboat, canoe, kayak, or ATV.
  • Purchase permit ONLINE or by calling during regular office hours. Onsite kiosks are not available. 
  • The permit is valid for the issue year through March 31 of the following year.
  • Permits for the following year may be purchased starting November 1 of the previous year. 
  • The permit should be displayed on the inside driver's side windshield. 
  • The permit is valid at designated launch sites throughout Dane County. MAP
DESIGNATED CITY OF MADISON LAUNCH LOCATIONS BY LAKE
  • LAKE MONONA: Law, Olbrich, Olin 
  • LAKE MENDOTA: Marshall, 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. 

  • Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park - South - Boat Launch

    Park: Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park - South
    Lake Access Permit Required: No

    Notes: The Upper Yahara River above Hwy 113 is a designated 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
    Location: 3401 Atwood Ave.
    Lake Access Permit Required: Yes

    Notes: Boaters are advised to use caution navigating the narrowed channel a may consider using an alternate park launch site.
  • 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.