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Vilas (Henry) Park

Vilas (Henry) Park
Address: 1602 Vilas Park Dr.
Hours: 4:00am - 10:00pm
Park Type: Community
Acres: 45.67
Restroom: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Shoreline On: Lake Wingra

Park Details

One of Madison's oldest parks, Vilas curves along the northern shore of Lake Wingra, offering a sandy beach for summer swims, numerous fishing sites, including two accessible piers and winter ice skating on the lagoon and rinks with a seasonal warming shelter offering concessions and skate rentals. The park offers year-round recreation for all ages and is adjacent to the UW Arboretum and the Henry Vilas Zoo

The Vilas Park Master Plan was approved in 2021.



3-hour parking limit MGO 8.18(2) and (5) and Section 1.08(3)(a)
  • A three (3) hour parking limit is enforced at all times in the park.
Bus Parking is Prohibited
  • Buses are restricted from parking in single-vehicle parking areas.
  • All parking regulations are enforced.
  • Citations may be issued without warning.
  • Please use the Wingra Drive entrance to load and unload passengers.
  • No bus stopping, standing, or parking at the Drake Street entrance.
  • After unloading passengers, please relocate to the rear parking lot at Bowman Park, 1775 Fish Hatchery Road. There is no charge to park at Bowman Park. 

Park Highlights

vilas accessible pier
An accessible pier on Lake Wingra is made possible by the Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin (BTC) and the Union Sportsmen's Alliance (USA). Read more.
Photo Credit: Colleen Eccles
  • The "Old Woman in a Shoe" slide was built in 1962 as a gift to the Madison community. Members of the Madison Lathers Local 111, Madison Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 204 donated the labor and materials. Warren Walder oversaw the construction of the slide, which was dedicated to George Morrell, a lather/contractor who had died several years earlier.

At this Park