With over 12,000 acres of land, the Dane County Park System has plenty of room for you to socially-distance while exploring, rejuvenating, and enjoying spring! Now is a great time to get outside and spend time in the outdoors hiking, biking, fishing, and birdwatching. Dogs are welcome in the county parks with a 2020 dog permit as long they are on a leash (especially at this time of year and ground nesting birds). We also have some special activities that require a permit, such as disc golf and lake access. We ask that you please purchase these in advance online instead of at self-registration stations at the parks. We suggest you bring rubber boots as some of the trails are currently wet and muddy in sections.
Use our new Dane County Park brochure to see a map of our park system (PDF) and learn what recreation opportunities (PDF) are available. The brochure also describes many of our properties that have important historical and cultural features, interpretive signage, and more. You can also find places to explore on our list of park properties page. Try visiting a place you've never been to before! Tag us in your adventures on Facebook or Instagram using #danecountyparks for the chance to win a $50 Dane County Parks gift certificate (details below).
We encourage you to check out this list of parks and find a place you’ve never been before. If you visit, take a photo of your adventures and tag #danecountyparks on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win a $50 Dane County Parks gift certificate that can be redeemed for permits, camping, or shelter reservations. A winner will be selected every Monday at 9:00 am and announced at noon. Each week will have a theme and you will get a bonus entry if your photo fits within the week's theme!
You must tag #danecountyparks AND include the location in the description or location field so other can learn about new places to explore. The location must be in the Dane County Park System. If your account is private, you must also tag @danecountyparks so we can see the photo.
This week's theme is: Wellbeing: In the photo description, tell us how Dane County Parks have impacted your physical or mental health over the past few months and get FIVE bonus entries. This information will also help us with future fundraising to help protect and improve these special and important places.
Tag us before 9:00 a.m. Monday, May 25th or June 1st to be entered to win. Gift certificates will be mailed after our office reopens to the public.
We encourage people of all ages to participate in our Dane County Parks BINGO challenges. BINGO cards are due anytime before the date listed on the card. For every 5 squares in a row complete participants will be entered to win parks swag prizes (i.e. water bottles, t-shirts, picnic blanket, etc.). Entries should be submitted to HeritageCenter@countyofdane.com.
Join Dane County Park staff, partner organizations, and experts each Friday at 1:00 pm for our Conservation Corner video series. Topics will include: habitat restoration, birding, prescribed burning, volunteerism, what's blooming, Dane County Parks history, tree care and more. Find the videos on our Facebook or YouTube pages.
Earth Day turns 50 this year! To get in the spirit we have teamed up with the Henry Vilas Zoo and other Dane County organizations to host a Party for the Planet Instagram contest. Participate in challenges, post pictures, and tag @partyfortheplanet.wi on Instagram for the chance to win prizes each month. Each time you complete a challenge and post a photo you will receive one (1) prize entry (drawing at the end of each month). Follow Party for the Planet on Instagram or check out the official contest rules on the Henry Vilas Zoo website.
There are a lot of great activities kids can do in our parks! Below is a list of suggestions and printable activity links.