Parks & Trails Unite Festival
Celebrating Our Connected Communities!
June 2, 2018 - Lake Farm County Park and McDaniel Park
Festival Hours: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm - rain or shine!
Dane County Parks is teaming up with United Madison to host a one of a kind Parks & Trails Unite Festival. This FREE community event will encourage unity, give us the opportunity to lift each other up to better understand and learn from one another, and celebrate our amazing parks and trails and the community connections that they provide.
The Festival will take place in BOTH Lake Farm County Park and McDaniel Park, and includes the new Lower Yahara River Trail and a mile-long boardwalk bridge that connects the two parks and provides an off-road trail connection between Madison and McFarland that didn’t previously exist.
A majority of the proceeds from this event will help build capacity of Dane County volunteers and the sixteen friends groups that support individual county parks. A portion of the proceeds donated by event sponsors will benefit local nonprofit partners as well as support United Madison in their effort to support a unified, thriving community for EVERYONE .
Dane County Parks are dog friendly! If you plan to bring your pup with you to the Festival, please review our Dog Rules to make sure the festival is safe and fun for all.
Photography Policy: By entering the Parks & Trails Unite Festival, you give your consent to use your image or likeness in photographs taken on festival grounds by Dane County Parks staff or volunteers for advertising or communication purposes.
Check out our event page on Facebook!
Click map to enlarge
Attendees can travel between parks via our new Lower Yahara River Trail boardwalk bridge (about 1.5 miles between parks one way) or by hoping on a pontoon boat for a free ride across Lake Waubesa.
- Accessible parking is available at Lake Farm County Park Shelter #1. Accessible carts will be available to shuttle you to the main festival area.
- Free off-site parking and an accessible shuttle is available at the Alliant Energy Center. Click on the "Getting There" tab to learn more about this option.
- AccessAbility WI will have four outdoor all-terrain wheelchairs available for those with physical mobility issues to use and test so they can enjoy all that the festival has to offer. These carts will be located at: (1) AccessAbility WI booth in McDaniel Park, (1) AccessAbility booth in Lake Farm County Park, and (2) Lake Farm County Park Shelter #2 for orienteering and trail exploration.
- The Madison Spinal Cord Injury organization will have an accessible tandem kayak with a chariot available from 2:00 - 6:00 pm in McDaniel Park for those with physical mobility issues. Get there early to sign-up!
Activity & Event Areas
All activities are free! Each activity will have an optional donation jar so you can help support the Festival and Dane County Parks if you choose. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Lake Farm County Park:
Refreshments & Live Music (Shelter #2)
Festival Information Booth & Dane County Parks Store
- Festival Biergarten from Noon to 7:00 pm (hosted by the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area)
- 50/50 Raffle (hosted by Friends of Dane County Parks)
- Food vendors (see list on "Refreshments" tab)
- Live Music (see schedule on "Live Music" tab)
- AccessAbility Wisconsin Booth
Activity Zone 1 (Pier Area near Shelter #2)
- Display Aquarium with Fish from Lake Waubesa (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)
- Nature Walks:
- 10:00 am – Bird Walk with Madison Friends of Urban Nature
- 11:00 am - Plant Identification with Dane County Parks
- 1:00 pm - "I Spy" Nature Walk for Kids with Dane County Parks & Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area
- 3:00 pm - Geology Hike with UW-Madison Geoscience on behalf of the Ice age Trail Alliance
- Pontoon Rides from Lake Farm County Park to McDaniel Park will run all day and give you an up close look at the boardwalk bridge from the water. Pontoons are courtesy of MSCR and Marshall Boats. Throughout the day some of these rides will feature special educational talks, including:
- 10:30 am - Fishery of Lake Waubesa
- 11:30 am - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- 12:30 - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- 1:30 pm - Lake Waubesa History
- 2:30 pm - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- 3:30 pm - Lake Waubesa Limnology
- 4:30 pm - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- The Dane County Sheriff’s Marine and Trail Enforcement Bureau will have their patrol boat docked to the pier so you can see it up close and imagine what it would be like to be a deputy out patrolling the water.
- Orienteering using Map & Compass (On The Map, LLC) – map reading clinic every hour on the half hour (10:30 am, 11:30 am, etc)
- Vendors - 20% of sales will be donate to Dane County Parks:
- Herbal Products, Gemstone Display, and Lyme Disease and Tick info. (Nativa Medica)
- Make and Take Aromatherapy and Herbal Products (Herban Artisans) - will lead an Herb Walk at 2:00 pm
- Health, beauty, Skin care and personal care products (Atomy America)
Activity Zone 2
- Basic Bike Maintenance Tips (Dream Bikes)
- Bike Safety Checks (The Bike Mobile)
- Critter Corner:
- 10:00 am - Noon - Insect Ambassadors Exhibit (UW Entomology Department)
- Noon - 2:00 pm - Zoo animals! (Henry Vilas Zoo)
- 2:00 - 7:00 pm - Reptiles and Amphibians (The Madison Area Herpetological Society)
- Skins & Skulls and Living Lockets activities (Aldo Leopold Nature Center and Nature Net)
- Madison Friends of Urban Nature
- Hoop Toss Games ( Madison Parks Division)
- Meet the Animals! (UW Extension 4-H Program)
- Hands-On 4-H Healthy Living Activities (UW Extension 4-H Program)
Explore the Arboretum’s Plants and Animals (UW- Arboretum)
- Nature Under a Microscope (Friends of Silverwood County Park)
- Farm Antique Trivia (Friends of Schumacher Farm County Park)
- Ask-A-Master-Gardener and Pollinator Information and Activities (UW Extension)
- Compost and Gardening info (Badger Prairie Community Garden)
- Ho-Chunk Nation - Teejop booth
- Explore Local History (Dane County Historical Society and Bob Birmingham, former state archaeologist of Wisconsin)
- Pumptrack (Capital Off Road Pathfinders) - bring your bike, skateboard, or scooter to try it out (video)
- Mural Painting (Dane Arts Mural Arts, Inc)
- Fit2Go Van and Recreation Opportunities (MSCR)
- Register to Vote! (Dane County Voter ID Coalition) - registration table until 4:00 pm
Activity Zone 3
First Aid Station
- Sponsor Booths:
- First Experiences (Fearing's Audio Video Security and Big Brothers & Big Sisters)
- OFS Awesome Toss 'Em (National Guardian Life and Operation Fresh Start)
- Storytime & Literacy Crafts (Bella Domicile and Madison Reading Project)
- Caring for Nature Crafts & Games (SVA Plumb Financial, LLC and Groundswell Conservancy)
- Test Electric Bikes for "The Ride" (Crazy Lenny's E-Bikes and "The Ride" for Carbone Cancer Center)
- DAIS Healthy Relationship Social Media (Alliant Energy Foundation and Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS))
- Porchlight Poppers (Steve Brown Apartments and Porchlight)
- Rock Climbing Wall - anyone under the age of 18 must have a legal guardian present to sign a waiver
- Explore Wisconsin’s Glacial Past along the Ice Age Trail (Ice Age Trail Alliance)
- Science is Fun Exploration Station (UW Madison - sponsored by Mad City Dream Homes)
- Mad City Dream Homes booth
- Mini Disc Golf Course (Mad City Disc Golf) - The nearby Capital Springs Disc Golf Course will also be free for use during the Festival.
- In Knots (Sierra Club Four Lakes Group)
Activity Zone 4
- United Madison booth
- Bouncy House - sponsored by Majestic Wood Floors
- Circus Activities for Kids (The Rumpus Room)
- Pop up Photoshoot (CommUnity Arts)
- Bike Safety (Dane County Sheriff's Office)
- Media Booths:
- Be a Radio Star! (Life 102.5)
- Midwest Family Broadcasting booth
- WI 57 booth
- 98.7 WVMO - The Voice of Monona booth
Exhibition Area Zone 5 (Shelter #3)
- Kids Tree Climb (Dane County Parks & WI Arborist Association)
- Sponsor booth: Pedal Power & Green Power Smoothies (Madison Gas & Electric)
- Talks and Activities:
- 11:00 – 11:45 am – Battle of Community Leaders - local leaders compete to see who will arise victorious.
- 1:00 – 1:45 pm - Journey Mental Health Presentation and Q&A: Mental Health First Aid.
- 2:00 -2:45 pm - One City Early Learning Center Presentation and Q&A: Early Childhood success is when families and teachers work together.
- 3:00 - 3:45 pm - SVA Presentation and Q&A: Financial literacy and planning for your future.
- 4:00 – 5:00 pm - Ho-Chunk Nation’s Wisconsin Dells Singers and Dance Troop
- Festival Information and McFarland Chamber of Commerce booth
- Future Phases of the Lower Yahara Trail display
- Dive into Reading (E.D. Locke Public Library)
Land & Water Conservation Tent
- Rainfall Simulator and Watershed Demonstrations (Dane County Land & Water Resources)
- Learn to be an Aquatic Invasive Species Detective - (River Alliance of WI and WDNR)
- How to be a Citizen Water Monitor (Clean Lakes Alliance)
Pontoon rides from McDaniel Park to Lake Farm County Park will run all day and give you an up close look at the boardwalk bridge from the water. Rides are weather dependent. Pontoons are courtesy of MSCR and Marshall Boats. Throughout the day some of these rides will feature special educational talks, including:
- 11:15 am - Fishery of Lake Waubesa
- 12:15 pm - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- 1:15 - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- 2:15 pm - Lake Waubesa History
- 3:15 pm - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- 4:15 pm - Lake Waubesa Limnology
- 5:15 pm - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
Water Adventure Tours!
All activities are wind and weather dependent
- 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Stand Up Paddleboard tours with Madison Boats
- Noon - 2:30 pm - Sailboat rides and boat tours with Waubesa Sailing Club
- 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Tandem Kayak tours with Rutabaga Paddlesports. The Madison Spinal Cord Injury organization will also have an accessible tandem kayak with a chariot available for those with physical mobility issues. All kayaks will be available on a first come first serve basis. Get there early to sign-up!
- At 3:00 pm, the McFarland Historical Society will be launching a century-old double-pointed row boat that was used at early Lake Waubesa resorts and was recently restored by a group of McFarland Historical Society members.
Refreshments & Live Music
- Join the Hopslingers Homebrew Club from 12:30-2:00pm in McDaniel Park for their homebrew contest. Their members have brewed up some parks and trails themed beers and need your help to select a winner. Come sample their brews and vote for your favorite! The voting will be done using an online real-time ballot so bring your smartphone or tablet. The winning homebrewer will get to brew their beer at One Barrel Brewing. Must be 21 or older to participate in this event. All participants must show their ID. There is no cost for this event.
- Food vendors (see list on "Refreshments" tab)
- Live Music (see schedule on "Live Music" tab)
Matt Splinter Memorial Softball Tournament in nearby Brandt Park
Brandt Park is right down the road from McDaniel Park and will be hosting the Matt Splinter Memorial Softball Tournament June 1-3. The tournament started in 2005 in the memory of Matt Splinter, a lifelong McFarland resident who loved and played softball throughout Dane County. Revenue from the tournament goes toward park improvements and maintenance, scholastic and athletic scholarships, and also for equipment and uniforms for area local sports teams. There is no cost to attend the tournament and concessions will be available for purchase. We encourage festival attendees to stop by the tournament and support their cause! Visit their website for more information.
Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
1610 Moorland Road - Madison, WI 53713
Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District will be offering bike tours of their plant showing how they protect public health and the environment and will provide activities, restrooms and a bottle filling station. If you are biking to the festival via the Capital City State Trail, this is on your route! Stop in and learn more about the work the district does! Learn more and sign up for a tour on their website.
Capital Springs Disc Golf Course
3398 Lake Farm Road, Madison, WI 53711
The nearby Capital Springs Disc Golf course will be free to play during the festival! Mad City Disc Golf will be at the course from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm lending out discs. Stop by to try out the course!
Avoid parking and traffic by parking for FREE at the Alliant Energy Center! From there you can bike 3.3 miles to the festival grounds (a 20-25 minute ride) or hop on a FREE shuttle, courtesy of the Sierra Club - Four Lakes Group . Check out this map for parking location, biking route and shuttle stop location.
Parking lot details: Enter the Alliant Energy Center via Alliant Energy Center Way and turn right into the first parking lot.
FREE Shuttle Details: Two FREE shuttles will run from 10:00am – 5:00pm, picking up every half hour from the Alliant Energy Center shuttle stop (see map). One of these busses is accessible and can transport wheelchairs and strollers. The shuttles will return every half hour from Lake Farm County Park. The last shuttle will leave from the park at 6:30pm.
Public Transit to the Alliant Energy Center: Take the #13 bus to the Rimrock & John Nolen (WB) or E. Rusk & Rimrock (EB) stop. From there it is a 5 minute walk to the Alliant Energy Center parking lot. Make sure to check route schedules and maps to plan your trip.
- Accessible parking is available at Shelter #1 inside the park. Accessible carts will be available to shuttle you to the main festival area.
- 750+ parking spots will be available at Lake Farm County Park (4330 Libby Rd , Madison).
- 300+ spots are available on Lake Farm Road, across from the Lussier Family Heritage Center – 15 minute walk to festival grounds
- Volunteer Parking Only: 100 parking spots are available at the Lussier Family Heritage Center (3101 Lake Farm Rd , Madison) for festival volunteers.
Bike with Bombay and Madison Bikes: Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes invite you to join them for a short community ride to the Parks & Trails Unite Festival (4 miles - 25-35 minute bike ride). To join them, meet at Olin-Turville Ct. (south parking lot) at 11:45 am (wheels roll at Noon). Free parking is available at the Olin-Turville Ct. south parking lot or at the Alliant Energy Center.
to Lake Farm County Park: Take the #16 or #5 bus to the Moorland Rd. & Manor Dr. stop. From there it is a 30 minute walk along the Capital City Trail to the Festival grounds at Lake Farm County Park. Make sure to check route schedules and maps to plan your trip.
We will have bus parking available for large groups. Please contact us in advance for special bus unloading and parking instructions.
Nearby Parking Options
Several businesses in McFarland have opened up their parking lots for festival parking on June 2. View all McFarland festival parking options on Google Maps.
- Parking lots @ 4831, 4861, 4893, and 4896 Larson Beach Road (0.8 miles - 5 minute bike ride; 17 minute walk)
- Gingerbread House Preschool parking lot - 5224 Farwell Street (1.3 miles - 7 minute bike ride; 25 minute walk)
- US Vet General Contracting LLC parking lot - 5350 Paulson Road (1 mile - 5 minute bike ride; 18 minute walk)
- Tom's Auto Center Inc - 5402 Paulson Road (1 mile - 5 minute bike ride; 18 minute walk)
- Parking lot @ 4020 Terminal Drive (1.2 mile - 6 minute bike ride; no sidewalks on this route)
to McDaniel Park: Take the #31 bus to the Valor & Star Spangled stop. From there it is a 15-20 minute walk to the Festival grounds at McDaniel Park. Make sure to check route schedules and maps to plan your trip.
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase at both parks. Refreshment areas will offer picnic table style seating and live music. Picnic blankets and lawn chairs welcome! Picnic table seating will be available in the music and refreshment areas at both parks. We encourage you to bring folding chairs or blankets if you would like to ensure you have seating for enjoying refreshments or listening to music.
Lake Farm County Park
A one-day, roped-off biergarten will be open from Noon - 7:00 pm featuring beverages from Wisconsin Brewing Company and One Barrel Brewing. Alcoholic beverages must remain inside the biergarten area. Everyone purchasing alcohol must show their ID (no exceptions). This biergarten is being hosted by the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area.
- Toast - Madison’s best paninis
- Jolly Frog LLC - Mexican cuisine
- FIBS - Italian beef, sausage and meatball sandwiches
- Egg Rolls Center - Hmong egg rolls
- Fast N' Fresh - known for their smoked pulled pork sandwiches
- Jamerica Restaurant - Caribbean cuisine
- Chrysalis - local, organic fruit pops with a purpose
Food Vendors in the Park
- Angelo's - Italian cuisine
- McFarland House Cafe - cuisine that will fill your belly and warm your heart
- Calliope Ice Cream - creative and delicious flavor combinations
The following restaurants are adjacent to the park and will be open for business during the Festival!
- 5100 - 5100 Erling Avenue, McFarland
- Green Lantern - 4412 Siggelkow Rd, McFarland
- Park Side Pub - 5016 Erling Ave, McFarland
Join the Hopslingers Homebrew Club during the festival from 12:30-2:00pm in McDaniel Park for their homebrew contest. Their members have brewed up some parks and trails themed beers and need your help to select a winner. Come sample their brews and vote for your favorite! The voting will be done using an online real-time ballot so bring your smartphone or tablet. The winning homebrewer will get to brew their beer at One Barrel Brewing Company.
Must be 21 or older to participate in this event. All participants must show their ID. There is no cost for this event.
Thank you to our partners and sponsors!
The Evjue Foundation
Berbee Walsh Foundation, Tom Thoresen, Dan Wisniewski, Jim Hubing, Mike Slavney, Bill Lunney and Judie Pfeifer, Andy Lewis, Lon Sprecher, Matt Carlson, Caryl Terrell, Dean Kalmerton, Kurt Krumholz, Rick Eilertson.
Parks & Trails Unite Logo designed by Justin King
The Alliant Energy Center is providing free off-site festival parking and Sierra Club - Four Lakes Group is providing two free shuttles to transport people to and from the festival. Learn more on our "Getting There" tab.