|Address:||25 Burrows Rd.|
|Hours:||4:00am - 10:00pm|
|Shoreline On:||Lake Mendota|
Park HistoryThe land was bequeathed to the Madison Park and Pleasure Association in 1909 by one of its active members, George B. Burrows (1832-1909). The lake shore area was filled to its present level by dredging the lake bottom. Until 1913 an on-site nursery housed trees and shrubs used in park programs. Along with park development, Burrows' civic interests included serving as State Senator, and later Assemblyman from Madison.
At this Park
Canoe & Kayak Storage
Watercraft Storage SpacesExplore Madison's beautiful lakes, rivers, and creeks by paddle and store your canoe, kayak or paddleboard on the shores of your favorite park. All storage racks are outdoors and uncovered. The annual storage period begins each year on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the following year.
How to Reserve:
- You may be placed on our waitlist at no charge by calling (608) 266-4711 or EMAIL. Please include your name, phone number, email address, and any order of preferences on storage location.
- Current users will be able to renew their watercraft storage beginning in late winter/early spring each year and must renew by April 1.
- As spaces become available, those on the waitlist will be contacted after April 1 and given the opportunity to reserve a space.
City of Madison Resident - Annual, single watercraft $130 City of Madison Resident - Annual, 2 watercraft, same space (100# max) $195 Non-resident - Annual, single watercraft $240 Non-resident - Annual, 2 watercraft, same space (100# max) $360
Watercraft storage rules include:
- Watercraft must not exceed 100 pounds, 18' length, 42" width or 24" height.
- Storage is for permitted watercraft only. No personal property.
- Watercraft must be secured to the boat storage rack. The owner accepts all liability for theft or damage to their property.
- Parks Staff reserves the right to cut any lock and remove any watercraft, under any condition it deems necessary for the function of the boat storage program.
- View all Agreement Rules.
- Brittingham Park: Brittingham Boats 608-250-2555
- Olbrich Park: Rutabaga Paddlesports 608-513-1308
- Wingra Park: Wingra Boats 608-233-5332
Madison Parks has several parks with working fireplaces. You are welcome to use the fireplaces with your park shelter reservation. Hoyt Park also has several refurbished outdoor fireplaces where you can enjoy toasted marshmallows and a quiet evening around a fire. Just remember to bring your own wood and extinguish the fire completely before leaving the park. Please note, fires are not permitted in Vilas Park during the winter months.
With the guidance of the Madison Fire Department and MGO 34.07, fires in general parks (not in a conservation park) are allowed with the following rules:
- Fire has a spark arrestor or heavy screen to contain the embers and sparks
- Fire has at least 10 ft. clearance from combustibles
- Smoke does not create a nuisance
- Fire is continuously monitored and maintained by an adult
- A method to extinguish the fire is readily available
Wisconsin residents aged 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Nonresidents aged 16 years old or older need a nonresident fishing license to fish in Wisconsin waters with hook and line. Visit the Wisconsin DNR website for more information.Every year, the first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June and the third Saturday and Sunday in January, are designated as Free Fishing Weekends throughout the state of Wisconsin. Residents and nonresidents of all ages can fish without a fishing license (and trout stamps) over these two days. Visit WI DNR
An accessible pier is located in Vilas Park, on Lake Wingra. From WI DNR: Lake Wingra is a 336-acre lake with a maximum depth of 14 feet. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Walleye.
MESSAGE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH: Eating certain fish can be harmful because they may contain mercury, PCBs, or PFAS. Follow advice for Wisconsin and Dane County waters to choose fish with fewer chemicals. Learn more about PFAS from Public Health Madison & Dane County.
More information on historic buildings or district questions may be found in the Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development Planning Division.
Wisconsin has the highest concentration of burial mounds in the United States and the Madison area has one of the highest concentrations of burial mounds remaining. Most mounds were lost to 19th-century agricultural practices and city development. The mound builders were farmers who also engaged in hunting and gathering. They lived in small villages and migrated from one to another based on the seasonal availability of natural resources. The mounds often, but not always, have burials associated with them, but their exact purpose is not entirely understood. Mounds tend to have been built in places with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The mounds are considered sacred by modern Native Americans and should be treated with respect.
A Burial Mounds Policy was created with assistance from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Ho-Chunk Nation, and approved by the Board of Park Commissioners in October 2019, the policy provides guidelines and procedures for managing burial mounds located in Madison Parks. Burial mound locations are also included in the policy.
Burrows Park Native American Burial MoundLocation: east of parking lot
Built: ca. 700 - 1200 A.D.
Description: On a rise, just east of the Burrows Park parking lot is a straight-winged bird burial mound with a wingspan of about 128 feet. A "running fox" mound used to exist north of the bird. The bird burial was restored in 1934 by removing tree stumps, repairing mutilations caused by vandals, and resodding.
The bird, in the religious beliefs of the mound builders, probably symbolized sky spirits; mounds described in the past as "lizards" may have represented water spirits, and bears and other animals may have represented people and other creatures that lived on the earth's surface.
The Burrows Park Burial Mound and Campsite was designated a City of Madison landmark on May 19, 1975
and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
More Information: Landmark Nomination
Madison Parks are a unique blend of active recreation and passive recreation spaces. Open Fields are just that - open, not pre-designed as a softball diamond, or football field. These open fields are available in these parks to spark your imagination, play a game of tag, or follow the leader - or anything you can think of! Enjoy your parks!View all Open Fields
Burrows Park - Open Field Games
Parking lots in parks are available for park programs or events during regular park hours: 4:00 am to 10:00 pm. Please observe the following.
- Driving or parking motorized vehicles is not allowed on the grass or near a shelter and is subject to a citation.
- Three-hour limit in all parks, as posted.
- No parking after hours: 10pm to 4am. Overnight parking is not allowed.
- Conservation park hours are 4am until one hour after sunset
- Follow all onsite parking regulation signs.
- Violators are subject to a fine.
The parking lot located on the eastern side of Law Park, commonly known as the Blair Lot, is a metered parking lot, enforced by City of Madison Parking Division between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
View all Parking Lots
With more than 175 playgrounds throughout Madison, you are never too far from a playground. According to the Trust for Public Land, Madison ranks #1 in the nation for the number of playgrounds available. The traditional swings and slides are always an option, as are new play elements and fully accessible playgrounds.
PLAYGROUNDS FOR EVERYONE
Through the Madison Parks Foundation initiative, Madison Parks offers all-inclusive playgrounds in Brittingham Park and Elver Park, opening in 2019. The Foundation has a goal of 5 fully accessible playgrounds.
PLAYGROUND REPLACEMENTS: HOW AND WHENView all Playgrounds
Madison Parks is responsible for maintaining more than 175 playgrounds and began a system-wide replacement initiative in 2013. With current staff and funding resources, replacements are scheduled to continue through 2033. Playgrounds are routinely inspected to assess the equipment's conditions and repair any safety concerns. Based on the age of the equipment and current conditions, each is given an audit score. The number of playgrounds replaced each year is based on budget allocations, staffing resources, and using the current playground audit score for prioritization.
REPLACEMENT PROCESS: NEIGHBORHOOD INPUT
At the start of the replacement process, notices are sent to the District Alder, neighborhood association representatives, and surrounding residential addresses. Information is also posted to the project website. Generally, two public meetings are held to review surfacing and equipment options and make final selections.
If you have questions about a specific playground or see something broken, please let us know.
Burrows Park - Playground
Open public restrooms are listed below. All portable restrooms are accessible.
Year-Round Restrooms - open daily, from approximately 10am to 8pm.
- Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park - North
- Elver Park enclosed shelter
- Owen Conservation Park
- Tenney Park at the John Wall Family Pavilion
- Warner Park Boat Launch
Most restrooms are seasonally open daily from approximately 10am to 8pm. Locations and dates vary. Typically season restrooms open no later than the first Saturday on or after April 20 and remain open into October. Beach restrooms are also open daily, approx. 10am to 8pm from May 27 through September 4, 2023.
Once winter recreation begins, in addition to the year-round locations, Vilas and portable restrooms are provided in select winter recreation locations, once the amenity is open for the winter season. Please check Winter Fun for the status of winter recreation at a specific park. View all Restrooms
Many of the Madison Parks are located in ideal locations for sight seeing. Enjoy the view! View all Scenic Overlooks
Shelter - Reservable
Reserve a Shelter
- See SHELTER PRICES for 2023 rates.
- BEFORE reserving, be sure to see Parks Projects. We are continually improving our park system and some of these improvements may impact a nearby shelter.
- RESERVE one of three ways
- Calling (608)266-4711
- In-person at the Parks administration office
- Full payment is due at the time of processing your reservation, along with any required permits.
- Credit card is the only accepted method of payment.
- All reservations are subject to our standard cancellation policy.
- Most shelters are open mid-April through mid-October (see exceptions below).
- The Shelter Reservations Guide provides details on seating capacities, and amenities such as outlets, fireplaces, and picnic tables.
- 2023 reservations open Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
- See Special Events for select 2023 dates/locations not available.
Shelter Open Schedule Exceptions:
- Open year-round:
- Open mid-April through mid-November:
- John Wall Family Pavilion in Tenney Park
- Elver Park (enclosed shelter)
- Warner Park
- Olin Park (through October)
- Picnic shelters may be reserved online or by calling -OR- if not reserved, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Day of signage is posted at the shelter.
- Madison Parks does not guarantee absolute privacy to any group. Your reservation will reserve only the facility you are using, not the entire park or other facilities within the park. If you are interested in reserving the entire park, please visit Special Events.
- Alcohol is permitted in most Madison Parks. Glass is never allowed. There are a handful of alcohol-free parks. In these locations, if you would like to bring alcohol, you will need an alcohol permit, which may be obtained when placing your reservation. An alcohol permit, without a reservation, is not given.
- Public improvements and/or construction may be underway during the time of your reservation. The City of Madison Parks Division makes every attempt to schedule around events and shelter reservations whenever possible, however, this is not a guarantee. Please keep in mind improvements to parks and infrastructure continues throughout the year. Please visit Park Projects for a partial list of major capital improvement projects.
- Firearms or weapons are not permitted at any of the shelters. Violators may be considered trespassers and may be subject to forfeiture or arrest.
- The availability of Gates of Heaven may be checked online however, you will need to call to make your reservation.
- Reservations for the following year begin in November of the proceeding year.
Burrows Park ShelterAddress: 25 Burrows Rd.
Capacity: Seats 110 people
Restrooms: In separate building
Water: Not available in shelter
Parking: Parking lot
Shelter Details: Burrows Park Shelter