We are looking for all the outdoor fun this winter. There’s only so much time you can spend indoors before you start to get cabin fever.
Snowshoeing is a fantastic way to explore many of our parks during the winter months and is easy to learn. It’s a great activity for any age and much easier than snowboarding or skiing! It’s something that even young kids can do — if you are taking young kids, make sure to focus on the experience versus the distance.
Best Madison Parks for Snowshoeing
Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park – Mendota
Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park – North
Door Creek Park
Edna Taylor Conservation Park
Indian Springs Park
Knollwood Conservation Park
Mineral Point Park
Prairie Ridge Conservation Park
Vilas (Henry) Park
Walnut Grove Park
Other Places to Snowshoe in the Area
- Blue Mounds State Park
- Donald County Park
- Indian Lake County Park
- Pheasant Branch Conservancy
- UW Arboretum
Tips from the City of Madison Parks website:
- DO snowshoe anywhere in a general park with good snow-cover, except on a cross-country ski groomed trail (Door Creek, Elver, Odana Hills, and Yahara Hills).
- DO snowshoe on a trail in any conservation park, except those groomed for cross-country skiing (Cherokee Marsh South, Owen, and Turville Point)
- DO snowshoe with sufficient snow (typically 4″ or more).
- DON’T snowshoe off-trail in a conservation park.
- Snowshoeing, hiking, and skiing off-trail can destroy snow tunnels used by native small rodents (deer mice, shrews) by the trampling effect. These small mammals are an important part of the wetland and grassland ecology in our conservation parks. Destruction of these tunnel networks makes the small mammals more vulnerable to predation.
- When in doubt, it’s always best to stay on a trail.
Where to Get the Gear
UW-Madison’s outdoors group Wisconsin Hoofers has snowshoe rentals available through its location at Memorial Union, including for students, Union members and guest users.
You can also purchase locally or online from these stores who have a presence in Madison: Fontana Sports (locally owned); LL Bean; REI; Cabela’s. Or check resale pages; eBay or FB Marketplace – as you may be able to get some like-new for a great price!