This summer and fall, enjoy the beauty and serenity of the lakes in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is a bustling city located on a self-proclaimed ‘Isthmus’ in Wisconsin’s state Capitol. Both natural and man-made lakes can be found in the surrounding areas, with Lake Monona and Lake Mendota leading the way for a variety of watersports, scenic walks, and boating possibilities.
Boat launches in particular are popular avenues for social gatherings, get-togethers, and picnic points. The boat launch itself will help you get out on the water with ease and minimal damage to your boat or water vehicle. There are almost twenty different boat launches located in Dane County and Madison, located around Lake Waubesa, Lake Kegonsa, Lake Monona, and Lake Mendota. Lake access ermits are required, and can be purchased from the Dane County Parks department. Boat traffic must adhere to DNR guidelines and each lake’s regulations; violations can result in a revoking of the lake access permit, or other fines and penalties.
For an annual permit, the Dane County resident fee is just $25, while non-residents must pay $37.50. A daily permit is also available for $7.00. Permits are required year round, and help to maintain the local areas, and fund public facilities.
1. Warner Park: 1511 Northport Drive, Madison, WI 53704
Warner Park offers easy access to Lake Mendota, and features a state-of-the-art Community Recreation Center. Warner Park Beach also offers a swimming area right near the parking lot and boat launch, and the beachfront provides plenty of access to some fun in the sun on shore.
2. Tenney Park: 1440 E. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53703
Tenney Park is a popular site for pontoon boat rides, rowboats, and other small ‘cruise-boats’ awaiting Lake Monona. Located along a variety of river banks, trails, and picnic areas, the Tenney Park boat launch is a frequent launch site for many. Enjoy the company of kayak, canoe, and rowboat enthusiasts at this location.
3. Spring Harbor Park: 5218Lake Mendota Drive, Madison, WI 53705
Spring Harbor Park provide easy access to Lake Mendota, and is a popular venue for community events and sports programs. Find fellow boaters and enthusiasts populating this area year-round, and enjoy the natural scenic trails around the area.
4. Marshall Park: 2101 Allen Boulevard, Madison, WI 53705
Located near Middleton on Madison’s far west side, Marshall Park is ideal for recreational activities, camping, and boating. The small beach and local areas provide a family-friendly venue for a variety of activities, as well as convenient access to Lake Mendota.
5. Olbrich Park: 3402 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704
Olbrich Park is home to Madison’s famous Olbrich Gardens, and can be found just near Madison’s east side and downtown district. Olbrich park offers easy access to Lake Monona year round.
General ‘boating etiquette’ naturally applies to all boaters, enthusiasts, and fans. It’s always important to make sure local and state laws are followed, and maintaining clean boats to protect Dane County Lakes also necessary. Wisconsin is known for its natural waters, scenic settings, and natural attributes; both the DNR and Dane County Parks foundations work hard to maintain a high standard.
Other boat launches to Lake Waubesa include Lake Farm Park and Babcock Park on the city’s South East side, and Fish Camp Park in Stoughton for access to Lake Kegonsa.