|Address:||3902 Regent St.|
|Hours:||4:00am - 10:00pm|
Park HistoryFormer Parks Superintendent, Daniel Stapay, once said, "Hoyt [Park] is important because of its history." Indeed, the origins of present-day Hoyt Park can be traced to 1890 when the City acquired property rights to twenty-four acres of stone quarry which in time grew to its current thirty-one acres through donation and purchase. By 1933, operations at the stone quarry had ceased and the land had officially become a city park when it was named Hoyt Park in honor of Frank W. Hoyt also known as "The Grand Old Man." Between 1894 and 1934, Mr. Hoyt acted as a leader in the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association, a volunteer-based group which predated the Board of Park Commissioners assembled in 1937 and was integral in opening, and maintaining recreational places in the Madison area.
Major efforts to develop Hoyt Park began during the Great Depression with funds provided by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Many unemployed workers were hired by programs such as Works Progress Administration and Civil Works Administration to improve various aspects of Hoyt Park. Significant among these laborers were the Italian masons from the local Greenbush neighborhood who were responsible for constructing stone fireplaces and tables using materials from the Park's quarry. Though money for the building projects had been exhausted, the Italian masons continued to work without pay in order to complete what they had started.
However, subsequent time, vandalism, and harsh winter cycles caused the Depression-era artifacts to deteriorate. In response to citizen concern for the dire situation, the Friends of Hoyt Park was founded in 1995. This volunteer group is committed to restoring and preserving the cultural features of the park's past. In the years to follow, with the financial contributions of both the City and the Friends of Hoyt Park, the twelve stone fireplaces were meticulously restored to their previous condition.
The park was designated a City of Madison Landmark on October 2, 1995.
At this Park
Madison Parks ranks #1 in the nation for the number of basketball hoops per resident, come check out the hoops in your neighborhood! Most of the basketball courts are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are planning a new league or tournament see Athletic Field Reservations.View all Basketball Courts
Hoyt Park - Basketball CourtSurface: Asphalt
Number of Courts: 1 full
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
Explore the many scenic trails and pathways throughout Madison Parks. Year-round restrooms are available at Cherokee Marsh, North and Owen conservation parks.
Some of the parks have a trail map on-site or in the "About This Park" on the individual park webpage.
Most parks allow leashed & licensed dogs with a Dog Park Permit. However, dogs are prohibited in all conservation parks and a number of Dog Free Parks. View all Hiking
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
Hoyt 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.
Hoyt 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.
Hoyt Park Main ShelterAddress: 3902 Regent St
Capacity: Seats 100 people
Restrooms: In separate building
Water: Not available in shelter
Parking: Parking lot
Shelter Details: Hoyt Park Main Shelter
Hoyt Park Roys ShelterAddress: 3902 Regent St
Capacity: Seats 70 people
Restrooms: In separate building
Water: Not available in shelter
Parking: Parking lot
Shelter Details: Hoyt Park Roys Shelter
Slacklining and Hammocking
Slacklining or hammocking in a park is allowed following the guidelines below at specific times, on specific trees, and never in a conservation park. Always keep in mind, Park Rangers have the authority to remove or order the removal of any slackline or hammock which they deem as harmful to the tree or as a danger to the safety of park users. The best advice, WHEN IN DOUBT, DON'T.
Dos and Don'tsTethering to trees for the purpose of slacklining or hammocking is allowed following these guidelines:
- DO: Sunrise to 30 minutes prior to sunset
- DO: Temporary only and may never be left unattended or overnight
- DO: Only on trees greater than 1' in diameter and 4.5'
- DO: Tree protect is used at connection points
- DON'T: Never tether on Oak, Hickory or Birch trees
- DON'T: Never in any conservation park
Proper Tree ProtectionTree protection is required for tethering any equipment to help prevent damage to the tree's bark. Carpet, foam pads or towels make good protection. Make sure the fabric padding completely encircle the tree at the connection points and is a minimum of ¼" thick by 10" wide. For more information and examples, see TREE PROTECTION
Prohibited TreesNever tether on an oak, hickory or birch tree. When in doubt, don't For more information, see TREE IDENTIFICATION
When in Doubt, Don't
Park Rangers have the authority to remove or order the removal of any slackline or hammock which they deem as harmful to the tree or as a danger to the safety of park users.View all Slacklining and Hammocking
Experience winter in Madison Parks like never before with snowshoeing! This silent sport is a fantastic way to explore many of our parks during the winter months and is easy to learn.
- DO snowshoe anywhere in a general park with good snow cover, except on a cross-country ski trail.
- DO snowshoe at Door Creek Park on marked trails - see *new* MAP.
- DO snowshoe at Elver Park on the marked trail - see MAP.
- DO snowshoe at Yahara Hills on the marked trails - see MAP.
- DO snowshoe on a trail in any conservation park, except those designated for cross-country skiing (Cherokee Marsh South, Owen, and Turville Point)
- DO snowshoe with sufficient snow (typically 4" or more).
- DON'T snowshoe off-trail in a conservation park.
- Snowshoeing, hiking, and skiing off-trail can destroy snow tunnels used by native small rodents (deer mice, shrews) by the trampling effect. These small mammals are an important part of the wetland and grassland ecology in our conservation parks. Destruction of these tunnel networks makes small mammals more vulnerable to predation.
- When in doubt, it's always best to stay on a trail.
- Our trail systems are designed to facilitate controlled public access while protecting environmentally sensitive areas and providing quiet refuge for wildlife away from people. Disruption of wildlife by human activity during the winter puts additional stress on them during a challenging time for their survival.