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Dane County Parks offers permit-free weekend

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dane county parks

DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- Dane County Parks is offering a permit-free weekend to encourage people to get outside and enjoy winter activities.

Dane County Park visitors can try out recreation options on Jan. 21 and 22 that normally require a permit.

“We encourage everyone to make the most of this free permit weekend. From winter hiking and snowshoeing to ice fishing and cross-country skiing, there are many activities residents and visitors can take part in,” said County Executive Joe Parisi.

Dane County residents and visitors can explore the following recreation options for free this weekend:

Dog Parks: The Dane County Park system has eight off-leash dog parks, totaling 268 acres, each with its own unique features and terrain. All dogs must be legally licensed with their municipality, vaccinated, and follow all dog park rules.

Biking & Mountain Biking: Dane County has over 100 miles of shared-use bike trails that connect communities, parks, and natural resource areas. We offer single-track mountain bike trails at three locations throughout the year (including winter).

Lake Access: Dane County lakes offer abundant opportunities for ice fishing. There are several lake access sites where you can park to easily access the ice. This weekend is also the Wisconsin DNR’s Free Fishing Weekend so it’s a great opportunity to try ice fishing.

Cross-country Skiing: The Dane County Park system has several parks with groomed cross-country ski trails. Trails will be groomed if there is at least four inches of snow and consistent freezing temperatures. If we get sufficient snow, the trails will be opened and groomed for the weekend. Trail status can be found on the Trail Conditions webpage:

Madison Parks is also joining in on the free-permit weekend.

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