Seal of Dane County County of Dane
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Dane County Parks

Camping Rules


Camping Reservations

A Camping Reservation is a permit to camp at designated camping locations in the Dane County Park System.  Camping fees must be paid prior to use of a Park facility. Please visit our fees page for more information.

Cancellation Policy


General Rules and Regulations

  • Campers must register for or have a reservation for a Campsite prior to setting up camp.
  • Campsites must be registered/reserved by the Camping Party occupying the site.
  • A Camping Unit must occupy the Campsite the first night of registration/reservation.
  • No Campsite may be left unattended for more than 24 hours.
  • One Camping Unit is allowed per Campsite unless additional units are approved by park staff.
  • Camping is only allowed in signed and designated areas.   
  • Only one Camping Party (6 individuals) may occupy a Campsite.
  • A Camping Party or Camping Unit may not move from the assigned Campsite to another Campsite within the park without prior approval by park staff or campground host.
  • Camping is limited to 14 days. The Camping Party and Camping Unit must vacate the Campground for at least 48 consecutive hours before being eligible for an additional 14-day registration at the same Campground.   
  • Park staff may close a Campsite and move a Camping Party at any time to protect the condition of the Campsite and surrounding park land.   
  • If camping more than four days without a reservation, you must self-register for a non-reservable site.  Contact parks staff or campground host for availability of a reservable site if self-registering for five to 14 days.

Hours

  • Parks open at 5:00 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m.
  • Campgrounds are closed to non-campers from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.  All visitors must vacate the Campground by 10:00 p.m.  
  • Quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.  Please be considerate of your camping neighbors.
  • A Camping Party may not set up or take down a Campsite between 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. unless approved by a parks employee or law enforcement officer.
  • Camping permits begin at 3:00 p.m. on the first day of permit registration and expire at 3:00 p.m. on the last day of the permit registration.
  • Re-registration for the following night is by 10:00 a.m. on the last day of the camping permit

Campground Conduct

  • No person may engage in any loud, drunken, or disruptive behavior that causes a disturbance.     
  • No person may operate any sound device, loudspeaker, generator, air conditioner or other device that produces excessively loud or unusual noises without approval from park staff.
  • It is illegal to deface, destroy or vandalize any park property or natural growth. 
  • All controlled substances and paraphernalia, identified in Chapter 161, WI State Statutes, shall be prohibited from use or possession.  
  • No personal items or equipment may be left unattended in the restrooms/shower areas.

Vehicles 

  • No more than two (2) motor vehicles or a vehicle and trailer may be parked within the parking area of any Campsite; up to six (6) motorcycles are permitted. At Mendota Park,  only one boat is permitted at boat campsites.   Vehicles are restricted to designated roadways and parking areas.
  • A permit is required for vehicles parked outside of the campsite area.

Campfires

  • Only firewood originating from within Dane County is allowed in the parks. See "Firewood" tab for more information.
  • Fires are permitted in fireplaces, grills, and fire rings only and may not be left unattended.
  • Do not place hot coals on the ground or in trash containers.

Pets

  • Dogs are permitted in the Campground with a registered camper at no additional charge and must be kept on-leash at all times.  
  • Pet waste must be cleaned up and placed in the proper container.
  • Dogs cannot be left unattended.

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