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 over 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. The piers are put in during the springtime and taken out again in late fall. The Lake Access Permit may be purchased online, is a 15 month permit (January 1st through March 31st 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.

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 here, get tips for safe boating, and find out more about boating in Madison Parks in the Lake Access Permit brochure. You can also visit Dane County Parks for more information.

2019 Fees

  • Daily: $8.00
  • Dane County Resident Annual: $40.00
  • Nonresident Annual: $50.00
  • Dane County Senior (65+): $21.00
  • Nonresident Senior (65+): $28.00
  • Disabled: $21.00
  • Duplicate/Replacement: $18.00

Where can I purchase a permit?

Annual Permits

Annual Permits are available for purchase:

Purchase Annual Permit Online

  • Annual Lake Access Permits can be purchased online.
  • Please allow up to ten days for delivery via USPS first class.
  • Daily or annual permits available at lake access parking lots.
  • Annual permits available at the City of Madison Parks Division:
    • 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 104, Madison, WI 53703
    • Or by phone, (608) 266-4711
    • Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Please note: the current year's permit is valid through March of the following year.