Winter offers new ways to play in the Dane County Park System. There are many activities, from snowshoeing to ice fishing. Even a simple hike is a special experience in the snow.
Our special Dane County Parks Winter Recreation Activity Guide is a handy one-stop brochure that provides details and a map of winter activities in the park system, including which areas offer groomed cross-country ski trails, designated snowshoe trails, ice fishing and lake access, dog parks, sledding, snowmobiling, winter mountain biking, and winter camping.
There are several winter activities that do not require a permit. Some parking areas may have limited to no access during certain snow conditions. Snowshoe sites identified in the Winter Recreation Guide (PDF) have designated trails and plowed parking areas. Note that snowshoeing, winter hiking, and dogs are NOT allowed on designated cross-country ski trails when snow is present even if they have not yet been groomed. Skiers can set their own track even if there is minimal snow cover and other activities on the trails will degrade the trail for ski permit holders.
Permits are required for the following winter activities: