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Lake Access

You haven't seen Madison until you've seen it from a lake. As a city built on an isthmus, Madison is surrounded by more than 15,000 acres of sparkling lakes. Whether you want to enjoy an early morning fishing trip, paddle away an afternoon with a friend in a canoe or test your balance on skis, Madison Parks provides you and your family with access to one of our community's greatest assets, our lakes.

Lake Access Permit

City of Madison Parks maintains a number of sight-seeing and boat launch piers throughout the city's lake front parks. Piers are typically installed each spring and removed in the fall. The Lake Access Permit may be purchased online, is a 15-month permit (January 1 through March 31 of the following year) and required for most designated launch sites in the City of Madison, City of Monona, and Dane County Parks. Lake Access Permits are required year-round.

Purchase Permit

Receipt is emailed and proof of purchase. Annual permit is mailed within 10 business days.
The current year's permit is valid through March of the following year.

A Lake Access Permit is required year-round at Law, Marshall, Olbrich, Olin, Spring Harbor, Tenney, and Warner parks. View a map of designated launch sites, get tips for safe boating, and find out more about boating in Madison Parks in the Lake Access Permit brochure. You may also visit Dane County Parks for more information.

2024 Fees

  • Daily: $8
  • Dane County Resident Annual: $50
  • Nonresident Annual: $60
  • Dane County Senior (65+): $25
  • Nonresident Senior (65+): $30
  • Disabled: $25
  • Military/Veteran: $25
  • Duplicate/Replacement: $20