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Park Rules

Non-compliance of any of the following rules may be subject to a citation and/or removal from the park. To report, contact a park ranger, after hours, weekends and holidays, (608) 235-0448.

General Parks

General parks are all parks, except conservation parks.

  • Alcohol

    Most parks allow alcohol (no glass). However, by ordinance the following parks are alcohol-free and require an alcohol permit with an advanced shelter or athletic reservation. See Madison General Ordinance 8.24 for a full list of parks and details.

    • Allied Park
    • BB Clarke
    • Bernie's Beach
    • Brittingham
    • Demetral (at shelter and within 50' radius)
    • James Madison
    • Lake Edge
    • Law
    • Mayfair
    • OB Sherry
    • Olbrich
    • Paunack
    • Peace (Elizabeth Link) Park
    • Penn (10:00 am – 8:00 pm)
    • Reger
    • Reynolds
    • Tenney
    • Thut
    • Waunona
  • Dogs

    Leashed and licensed dogs are allowed in most Madison parks with a permit. A number of parks and areas within a park are designated as dog free, including inside all shelters, all conservation parks, near playgrounds and splash parks. See Dog Free Parks for more information.

  • Firearms

    Firearms are prohibited where posted. Violators are considered trespassers and may be subject to forfeiture or a park ban.

  • Glass

    Glass is not allowed in any park.

  • Geocaching

  • Grilling

  • Hours

    General parks are open 4am to 10pm. Conservation parks are open 4am to one hour after sunset.

  • Metal Detecting

    Metal detecting is allowed in most Madison parks and a permit is not required. While there is not a formal ordinance, we ask that you please follow these rules:

    • Not on athletic fields
    • Not in a conservation park
    • Not on/near an effigy mound
    • If digging, use a plastic utensil/tool
    • Ensure dirt returns to its original location and no hole remains
  • Parking

    Driving or parking motorized vehicles is not allowed on the grass or near a shelter and is subject to a citation. Follow any onsite parking regulation signs.

  • Slacklining and Hammocking

  • Trash & Recycling

    Leave no trace. Put trash in its place. Use trash and recycle receptacles where provided. In those that do not, please take home all recyclables and trash, including dog waste.

Conservation Parks

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

    Alcohol is prohibited in all conservation parks.

  • Bicycles & Motor Vehicles

    Bicycles and motor vehicles are restricted to entrance roads and parking lots.

  • Dogs

    Dogs and horses are not allowed.

  • Fire

    Fires are prohibited.

  • Firearms

    Firearms are prohibited where posted. Violators are considered trespassers and may be subject to forfeiture or a park ban.

  • Glass

    Glass is not allowed.

  • Hunting & Trapping

    Hunting and trapping are prohibited.

  • Open Hours

    Conservation park hours are 4am until one hour after sunset.

  • Plants

    All plants and animals are protected. Disturbance or removal requires written permission.

  • Trails

    Stay on and use designated trails only.

  • Trash & Recycling

    Place trash in container provided. Please take recyclable material home for proper disposal.

Contact Madison Parks

  • City of Madison Parks Division
    City-County Building, Room 104
    210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
    Madison, WI 53703
  • Phone: (608) 266-4711
  • Fax: (608) 267-1162
  • Contact Form
  • WI Relay Service
  • Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
  • Park Hours: 4:00am - 10:00pm
  • After Hours, Weekends & Holidays: Contact Park Rangers, (608) 235-0448