Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park - Mendota
|Address:||4338 Beilfuss Drive|
|Hours:||4:00am - dusk|
|Shoreline On:||Lake Mendota|
Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park, Mendota Unit has lowland forest with large-diameter red and white oak, black cherry, red maple, hackberry, and box elder. In spring, the forest floor has expanses of wildflowers including Dutchman's breeches, cut-leaf toothwort, and white trout lily. Also present are areas of shrub-carr, a wetland community of tall shrubs such as red-osier dogwood, aspen, and willow. The marsh-to-woodland boundary contains an alder thicket, a rare vegetation type for Dane County.
Birdlife includes barred owl, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, woodpeckers, and wood-warblers in migration.
The park's wetlands extend to the shoreline of Lake Mendota. Just south of the park is a carry-in canoe/kayak landing at 4106 Veith Ave.
.6 miles of trail in total. A trail at the south end of the park connects to trails in Meadow Ridge Conservation Park.
Visit the Friends of Cherokee Marsh, to learn more including events and volunteer projects.
Cherokee Marsh, Dane County's largest wetland, is located at the head of the chain of Yahara lakes. Cherokee Marsh - Mendota Unit is one piece in a complex of protected land that supports wildlife and native plant communities in the marsh and adjacent uplands.
This park is situated on ancestral Ho-Chunk land. Cherokee Marsh's name dates to a 19th-century hunting club in the area.
The park's acreage was assembled from various parcels beginning in the early 1980s to protect high-quality portions of Cherokee Marsh wetlands and to buffer the marsh from stormwater runoff from expected housing development. A trail system was established in 1997 following the removal of a house in the interior of the property.
Management has included the removal of invasive buckthorn, honeysuckle, garlic mustard, and dame's rocket to open the understory and maintain wildflower populations.
The Friends of Cherokee Marsh sponsor events and volunteer workdays.
At this Park
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
Many of the Madison Parks are located in ideal locations for sight seeing. Enjoy the view! View all Scenic Overlooks
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.
About This Park
Get to This Park
Conservation Park Rules
Conservation Parks are uniquely managed to further protect native species and wildlife. The preservation of conservation parks includes some of the following. More information may be found in Madison General Ordinances 8.40.
Alcohol is prohibited in all conservation parks.
Bicycles & Motor Vehicles
Bicycles and motor vehicles are restricted to entrance roads and parking lots.
Dogs and horses are not allowed.
Fires and picnics are prohibited.
No firearms or weapons are permitted in the restrooms or shelters. Violators are considered trespassers and subject to forfeiture or arrest.
Glass is not allowed.
Hunting & Trapping
Hunting and trapping are prohibited.
Conservation park hours are 4am until one hour after sunset.
All plants and animals are protected. Disturbance or removal requires written permission.
Stay on and use designated trails only.
Trash & Recycling
Place trash in container provided. Please take recyclable material home for proper disposal.