Meadow Ridge Conservation Park
|Address:||105 W. Sauthoff Rd.|
|Hours:||4:00am - dusk|
Park DetailsMeadow Ridge Conservation Park and the adjacent Meadow Ridge Park offer trails through woods and restored prairie. The ridge provides views of Lake Mendota through the woods. Birdlife includes barred owl in the woods and eastern bluebirds in the prairie.
Half mile of trails in total. A trail at the north end of the park connects to trails in Cherokee Marsh - Mendota Unit.
Land ManagementThis park is situated on ancestral Ho-Chunk land. The ridge holds an effigy mound constructed by Native Americans before European settlement.
Management has included the removal of invasive buckthorn, honeysuckle, garlic mustard, and dame's rocket to open the understory and maintain wildflower populations.
Burial Mound Policy
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.
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
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.
Meadow Ridge Conservation Park Native American Burial Mound
A mound in the shape of a bear is located at the woodland edge near the top of the rise. After consulting with an archaeologist, a Parks crew restored portions of the head and front feet and filled a large hole in the belly area.
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.