Whether you are looking for a day of leisure, a picnic with your family, or just a great place to revitalize, Olbrich Park is the place to be. Located on Madison's East side along the shore of Lake Monona and adjacent to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Olbrich Park is one of Madison's largest lakefront parks.
3402 Atwood Ave.: softball fields and north boat launch (canoe/kayak)
201 Garrison St. : ice rinks
502 Walter St.: softball fields
Alcohol is prohibited in this park. For more information, see the Madison General Ordinance 8.24. In order to have alcohol in this park, you must have an alcohol permit, which may be obtained through the Parks Administrative Office.
Madison Parks ranks #1 in the nation for 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.
Madison Parks has some of the best lake views in the area with beaches located throughout the city. Seasonal lifeguard service is provided at select beaches, beginning in June and continuing into early September at select locations. See below for specific days and times for each location.
BEACHESwith multiple lifeguards
• BB Clarke, daily 11am to 7pm (through Monday, September 2)
• Olbrich, Wed. - Sun., 11am to 5pm (through Sunday, August 25)
• Tenney, Wed. - Sun. 11am to 5pm (through Sunday, August 25)
• Vilas, daily 11am to 7pm (through Monday, September 2)
BEACHESwith a single lifeguard ( through Sunday, August 18)
• Bernie's, Friday - Sunday 12 to 4pm
• Esther, Friday - Sunday 12 to 4pm
• Spring Harbor, Friday - Sunday 12 to 4pm
• Warner, Friday - Sunday 12 to 4pm
WATERCRAFT RENTALS & MORE (see also Canoe & Kayak Rentals)
• Brittingham Park: Madison Boats
• Olbrich Park: Rutabaga Paddlesport
• Marshall Park: Madison Boats
BEACHES with no lifeguard service • Brittingham • James Madison • Marshall • Olin
2019 Beach Conditions: Thank you for your patience as we continue to recover from last year's flood. We are working to secure proper permits to replenish the sand at our beaches. We anticipate this work happening in early July. Please continue to enjoy the beaches in the meantime.
FAQ: IF A BEACH IS CLOSED DUE TO THE WATER QUALITY, IS THE PARK STILL OPEN?
Yes. Water quality testing is performed by Public Health Madison & Dane County Memorial Day to Labor Day. If a water test shows concerning results, the beach is listed as closed until bacteria or blue-green algae levels decline. During this time, there is no lifeguard service and you are advised to avoid the water. The park remains open to the public for other activities. It is also advised to avoid the water after heavy rainfall. MORE INFORMATION
Surrounded by over 15,000 acres of lakes, accessing the water is easy in Madison and surrounding communities with your Lake Access Permit. A daily or annual Lake Access Permit is required year-round for launching a motorboat, sailboat, iceboat, canoe, kayak, or ATV from a designated lake access parking lots (see locations below). Piers are in place early/mid-spring through fall.
LAKE ACCESS PERMIT (Ordinance 8.215):
• A daily or annual Lake Access Permit is required year-round for launching a motorboat, sailboat, iceboat, canoe, kayak, or ATV from a designated lake access parking lot.
• The permit is valid for the issue year through March 31 of the following year at designated launch sites in Madison, Monona and Dane County (see brochure map).
• The permit should be displayed on the inside driver's side windshield
DESIGNATED CITY OF MADISON LAUNCH LOCATIONS BY LAKE
LAKE MONONA: Law, Olbrich, Olin
LAKE MENDOTA: Marshall, Spring Harbor, Tenney, Warner
Madison Parks offers various locations to launch a canoe or kayak and is allowed at all of Madison Parks motorboat launch sites. Additionally, the parks listed below have a specially designated area for launch.
If you are looking to store your kayak or canoe in a park, please visit the storage webpage.
James Madison Park pier update (07/31/19): The pier at James Madison Parks sustained significant damaged during the flood of 2018 and was removed. Due to FEMA regulations and approvals, the replacement of this pier has been delayed. Unfortunately, we do not have a timeline for its replacement.
View all Canoe & Kayak Launch Sites
We have new watercraft storage spaces available at Vilas, Warner, and Olin. Call (608) 266-4711 or EMAIL to reserve yours!
Watercraft Storage Spaces
Explore 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 call (608) 266-4711 or EMAIL.
Current users will be able to renew their boat storage for 2019 beginning in February 2019. All current users must renew or vacate before April 1, 2019.
As spaces become available, those on the waitlist will be contacted after April 1 and given the opportunity to reserve a space.
2019 Storage costs (tax included):
$110 Madison Resident
Watercraft storage rules include:
Watercraft must not exceed 80 pounds, 18' length, 42" width or 24" height.
Storage is for permitted watercraft only. No personal property.
Only one watercraft is allowed in each space.
Watercraft must be secured to the boat storage rack. 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.
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
Madison Parks offers ice skating at 12 locations, plus the addition of a volunteer-maintained rink at Sunset Park. Elver, Tenney, and Vilas parks offer a staffed warming shelter with ice skate rentals and concessions. During the winter season, the status of an ice rink or frozen lagoon can change from day-to-day -- before you step out, be sure to check below the status of your favorite rink. Select the individual location below for additional amenities and open hours.
CLOSED ICE RINKS/LAGOONS
IF AN ICE RINK IS LISTED AS CLOSED, DO NOT SKATE!
Ice rinks are open once there is a consistent ice depth of 5 inches or greater.
In order to prevent extended closures due to damaged ice, rinks will also close if snow or meltwater are visible on the surface.
After a snowfall, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE SNOW FROM RINKS. Parks staff will perform this task after priority service areas (roads, bus stops, bike trails, etc.).
HOCKEY BOARDS: Olbrich, Tenney, Vilas, and Westmorland.
ADOPT ICE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
Recognizing the value in year-round outdoor recreation, the Adopt Ice Partnership relies on dedicated volunteers to assist parks staff with flooding the rink, removing snow, and overall keeping the rink in good condition. Through this partnership, we are able to offer additional ice skating rinks beyond those solely maintained by Parks staff. For more information or to volunteer at an Adopt Ice rink, please email.
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!
Parking lots are available in these parks for the programs or events in these parks. Parking lots are available from 4:00 am to 10:00 pm. Overnight parking is not allowed. Parking regulations specific to that park are posted at the entrance of the park.
View all Parking Lots
Madison Parks has 175 playgrounds to spark your imagination right in your neighborhood. In fact, the City of Madison has the most playgrounds per resident of any city in the nation, with almost 2 more playgrounds per 1,000 residents than the city that got second place! From swing sets, to unique climbing features our playgrounds are perfect for your toddler to your teen.
Restrooms are located throughout the parks system and in most cases in a park with a reservable shelter. Most of the restrooms are available only during the summer months. Restrooms available during the winter months include those open for winter activities at the following parks: Tenney, Vilas, Elver, Olbrich, Warner and Westmorland Parks.
No firearms or weapons are permitted on this property. Violators are considered trespassers and subject to forfeiture or arrest.
Slacklining is a balance sport which uses nylon webbing, typically 1"-2" wide, suspended horizontally between two anchor points. Slacklining and hammocking, under policy are allowed at specific times and on specific park trees. In December 2017, the Board of Park Commissioners approved a policy and guidelines for slacklining and hammocking on park trees. The policy provides inforomation on when, where and how. Please review the following documents before tethering on any park trees.
Madison Parks offers many hills perfect for winter sledding. The locations listed below are few suggestions for ideal sledding with a good snow base. Sledding hills are not maintained by parks staff.
The Elver Park sledding hill is one of the most popular and is lit for nighttime sledding during the open season. Sleds are available to purchase or to rent from the Elver Park winter shelter (see websitefor schedule).
PLEASE NOTE: For your safety, and to uphold the quality of our landscapes, please do not use the sledding hills without a significant snow base.
Many of the soccer fields are programmed with youth and adult league play. If you would like to reserve a field or facility, please call the Athletic Scheduler at 266-4711. Find out more about Athletic Field Reservations.
FIELDS, OPEN OR CLOSED?
The best and ONLY way to know if your field is open for play is to call the Rainout Line (608)267-8787. Weekdays the line will be updated by 2:00pm, weekends and holidays the line will be updated by 9:00am. The line will be updated if fields are questionable, if no update by times listed, fields are open for play. View all Soccer Fields
The best and ONLY way to know if your field is open for play is to call the Rainout Line (608)267-8787. Weekdays the line will be updated by 2:00pm, weekends and holidays the line will be updated by 9:00am. The line will be updated if fields are questionable, if no update by times listed, fields are open for play.
Madison Parks has nearly 100 tennis courts. Most of the tennis courts are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. When courts are reserved, at least one must be left available for pick-up play. Please note that all tennis leagues and all tennis instructors must pay for a reservation, no matter the location. Go to: Athletic Field Reservations
Practice Wall Locations:
Bordner, Brittingham, Elver, Olbrich, Tenney, Waunona and Westmorland
Ultimate Frisbee fields are typically large open spaces. Organized groups may reserve these fields for their league play using our online reservation system Athletic Field Reservations
FIELDS, OPEN OR CLOSED?
The best and ONLY way to know if your field is open for play is to call the Rainout Line (608)267-8787. Weekdays the line will be updated by 2:00pm, weekends and holidays the line will be updated by 9:00am. The line will be updated if fields are questionable, if no update by times listed, fields are open for play. A notification will be sent to the email address used to reserve an athletic space when a space is closed due to weather.