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.
NEW - Snowshoe Rentals at Vilas Park
When the ice rinks are open and we are staffed at Vilas Park, stop over for a pair of snowshoes to rent. Be sure to check the ice skating
page for the status, select the Vilas frozen lagoon or rink for hours - Wednesday - Sunday.
TIPS - Where is snowshoeing allowed?
||Adult (16 & older)
||Youth (15 & under)
|Daily (24 hours)
View all Snowshoeing
- DO snowshoe anywhere in a general park with good snow-cover, except on a cross-country ski groomed trail (Door Creek, Elver, Odana Hills, and Yahara Hills).
- DO snowshoe on a trail in any conservation park, except those groomed 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 the 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 refuges 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.
- Learn more: