In wintertime, perhaps more this year than ever, we become aware of the simple joys of life, like time with our loved ones, our health, and the majesty of our local natural beauty. You can enjoy all three of those simple pleasures this winter with the amazing and unique offerings of our Madison Parks.

All of the usual activities are available this winter - including ice skating, disc golf, cross country skiing, snow-shoe trails, and sledding, plus a new temporary fat tire biking trail. However, some things will be different in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our residents. We’ll have limited hours for equipment rentals at locations that still provide it (Elver, Tenney and Vilas), and there won’t be access to warming houses or concessions. We encourage you to come prepared with snacks, a place to store your things and in accordance with the latest public health order, a mask (yes, it’s required even at outdoor activities).

Winter can be a hard time for the many Madisonians who enjoy getting outdoors in the summer sun and feel like they can’t in the cold. Our parks amenities are the cure for any wintertime blues. Particularly this year, it’s important for us all to get outside and stay active and healthy. My favorite way to get outdoors in the winter is snowshoeing, but even just a quick walk in the park can lift my spirits. Activities in our parks are free if you bring your own equipment, and in some cases equipment is available to rent if you need it. Our parks offer not only a great way to safely bond with those outside of your household but are a great way to get kids moving as they continue virtual learning. Access to quality parks, with affordable amenities and welcoming staff is essential to ensuring that Madison serves all of its residents. I am proud of what our parks staff have made possible even in these difficult times and encourage you to take advantage all that Madison’s natural landscape has to offer.

Be sure to check the City of Madison Parks website ( for the most current status before heading out for ice skating and cross country skiing in particular.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.

Category: Equity