Go, See, Explore: Converse Park (a Natural Playground) in Marshall, WI

Photo provided by Whole Trees

Ever wonder what playgrounds would be like if they were built around nature? Try a visit to Converse Park in Marshall, WI.

Location

408 Best Built Parkway – Marshall, WI

It is about a 25 minute drive from the east side of Madison, or 15-20 minutes from Cottage Grove or Sun Prairie. It is free and open to the public.

Converse Park

Converse Park has several baseball fields, a shelter, two sand volleyball courts and a natural park. There are bathrooms located in the baseball concessions stands. When on the street (Best Built Parkway), the driveway to the parking lot is a little hidden between one of the baseball fields and a lumber business, but once you drive down the driveway, there is plenty of parking available right next to the natural park.

The benefit of it being hidden between baseball fields is that it seems to be a hidden jewel. We went on a holiday weekend, so there were not any baseball games, and we were the only ones at the park. I’d guess that when baseball is in play the park may be a bit busier.

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Above photos provided by Whole Trees

Nature Play

The park is built into some small mounds/hills, but also has fruit trees and natural areas. Additionally, there are several stations around the park that explain several elements of nature and conservation that are related to some of the elements of the park.

Our kids (6 and 8 years old) loved the bigger play structure that is built into a small hill, but there is also a smaller structure for preschool-aged children. There are many areas that are great for obstacle course games and areas that work well for taking a rest.

One of my kids favorite features are the tunnels built into the hills and mounds around the park. They loved playing hide-and-seek in the tunnels and around the trees that surrounded the park.

We love exploring different playgrounds and my 8 year old even mentioned it was his favorite playground – we stayed for around an hour and moved on. This would be a great stop to add on to some other fun area attractions like Little Amerika or Aztalan State Park, or on your way to Milwaukee!

Jill is a born and raised Wisconsinite. She grew up just outside of Madison before heading to northern Michigan for college. Afterwards, she returned to Madison where she married her high school sweetheart, Micah, and earned her PhD in Educational Psychology. Micah and Jill live just outside of Madison with their two children, Levi (5 years old), and Alice (3 years old), and they all love sports and being outside. When Jill isn't enjoying the local Madison parks and activities with her family, she loves to play board games, and relax at home with family and friends. Jill is a busy mom, an active member in her church, and enjoys her job as an Associate Professor of Psychology for a small liberal arts college.

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