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Dane County Parks
608-242-4576 Information Line | 608-246-3896 Main Office | www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/parks/
Year-round recreational opportunities abound throughout the Dane County Park System. Whether you enjoy fast-paced physical fun or quiet enjoyment, Dane County Parks offer you countywide locations for quick get-aways from urban settings and offer custom-built recreational facilities amid splendid natural beauty. Imagine all you can do year-round throughout the Dane County Park System.
Badger Prairie County Park
A great dog park! Badger Prairie County Park, northeast of the city at Old Highway PB and US Highway 18/151, is home to a three-acre pet exercise area, play fields, an aeromodeling field, mountain bike and hiking trails, a shelter and a playground area. It serves as the center of the Ice Age Trail Junction Area and has access to the Military Ridge State Trail, as well as a segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. >>map
Donald County Park
Donald County Park is located in southwestern Dane County at 1945 Hwy 92 between Mt. Horeb and Mt. Vernon and 15 miles southwest of Madison. The park is situated in Wisconsin's picturesque Driftless Area, a region characterized by rugged and varied topography. The park was developed beginning in the 1990s. Public-private partnerships between the County and Delma Donald Woodburn family, who donated 105 acres, along with the purchase of the 160-acre Hitchcock farm, formed the park's core. More than 800 acres of parkland exist with approximately four miles of multi-use trails for hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding; 21 miles of equestrian trails; and nearly two miles of hiking trails. Visitors can fish in the trout streams and at Larson pond, and picnic under centuries-old oaks or nearby flowing waterways. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash. For more information, visit the Friends of Donald Park website, www.donaldpark.org or email, email@example.com or the Dane County Parks website. 2011DPmap.pdf
Fireman’s Park Beach
608-845-6695 | Website
Kids and adults alike enjoy the sun, sand, fishing, diving board and playground equipment at the 18-acre Fireman's Park Beach located along Paoli and Bruce Streets on the city's southwest side. Paddleboat rental is available by the half hour or longer. The beach, staffed with certified lifeguards, has picnic tables, two water slides, a beach house and concessions. Season passes are available to both Verona residents and non-residents. The City of Verona offers outdoor swimming at Fireman’s Park in the summer.
The beach is staffed with certified lifeguards from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00/7:00 p.m. Hours may be adjusted periodically due to weather and other circumstances. Children under the age of eight must be supervised at all times by a responsible person 15 years of age or older. Flotation devices are not allowed.
Season passes can be purchased at the beach during open hours. The park also offers great shore fishing for bluegill and bass with two piers available from which to fish. There is no fishing in the swimming area when the beach is open. >>map
Ice Age National Scenic Trail
608-249-7870 | 1-800-227-0046 | www.iceagetrail.org
Not many cities can boast having a national trail, but Verona can. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is one of only eight national scenic trails in the United States. Primarily for foot journey, it showcases Wisconsin's world-renowned glacial features. The Verona Segment of the trail takes wayfarers on a 6-1/2 mile trek that travels through farm fields, woods and prairies, along Badger Mill Park, past glacial kettle ponds and through Badger Prairie County Park with acres of prairie flowers and grasses. The Ice Age Trail, totally contained in Wisconsin, is intended for such low-impact activities as walking, backpacking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The serpentine course approximates the last stopping point or terminal edge of the most recent continental glaciers, which ended their last major surge 14,000 to 16,000 years ago.
Military Ridge State Trail
608-437-7393 | www.militaryridge-trail.org
Verona is fortunate to have a portion of the 40-mile Military Ridge State Trail run right through its downtown. The packed limestone trail is open for hiking, cycling, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and motorized wheelchairs. Parking is available in several spots along the trail, including at Hometown Junction on Main Street. Mountain bikers looking for adventure can access the Military Ridge State Trail from the Hometown U.S.A. Community Park, ride about two miles east of the park to Fitchrona Road, and look for one of two trailside entrances to Quarry Ridge Mountain Bike Trail, featuring a single track loop with technical trail features for beginner and expert riders. The trail, in Iowa and Dane Counties, connects Dodgeville and Fitchburg. Most of the trail follows the former Chicago and North Western Railway line. On summer Sunday mornings, it is common to see people pedaling about six miles from Verona to the unincorporated community of Riley for a pancake breakfast. The trail, in Iowa and Dane counties, connects Dodgeville and Fitchburg. Most of the trail follows the former Chicago and North Western Railway line. Bicyclists 16 years old or older must have a current Wisconsin State Trail pass or a daily pass to use the trail.
Upper Sugar River Watershed
608-437-7707 | www.usrwa.org
Verona sits at the heart of the Upper Sugar River Watershed. The watershed (an area of land that drains into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater when it rains or snows) is 170 square miles of rolling farms, bustling communities, private retreats, parks and other public lands waiting to be explored. Its watershed resources, particularly trout fishing, have been featured on television and radio. Many of its 115 miles of streams are open to the public through nonprofit efforts and national, state and county support of public fishing easements and trail development. A great family canoe and kayak water trail begins just outside Verona. Several groups have a passion for the Upper Sugar River Watershed including Capitol Water Trails, LTD, Deer Creek Sport & Conservation Club, Natural Heritage Land Trust, Town of Verona Open Space and Parks Commission and the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association.
Prairie Moraine County Park
Prairie Moraine County Park is southeast of the city. The entrance is reached by taking US Highway 18/151 to Old Highway PB. The entrance is one mile south on County PB at Wesner Road. The 160-acre park is ideal for viewing the moraine and provides an excellent area for interpretation of Wisconsin's glacial history. Dog owners will enjoy both off-leash and on-leash areas for dogs. For more information, call the Dane County Parks 24-Hour Info Line at 608-242-4576. >>map
Hometown U.S.A. Community Park
608-845-6695 | www.ci.verona.wi.us/
Hometown U.S.A. Community Park at the corner of Lincoln Street and East Verona Avenue is the city’s largest park. The park is home to a skateboard ramp, a baseball diamond, two softball diamonds, playground equipment and a shelter. Mountain bikers looking for adventure can access the Military Ridge State Trail from the park, ride about two miles east of the park to Fitchrona Road, and look for one of two trailside entrances to Quarry Ridge Mountain Bike Trail, featuring a single track loop with technical trail features for beginner and expert riders. >>map
Verona Area School District Forest
The Verona Area School District School Forest is located directly northwest of the high school campus. The 12-acre school forest was purchased in the late 1960s at the same time as the land for a new, larger high school was purchased. At the time this marked the northern boundary of the City of Verona. In the ensuing years, the city has grown around the forest. It is now a slice of nature in the middle of the city and an outdoor laboratory for school-aged children. City residents and their dogs are welcome to use the trail system that traverses prairie, wetland and woodland habitats. Access the school forest from Cross Country Park at Basswood Avenue, from the high school campus near the tennis courts, or from the VASD central office parking lot. The school forest is home to both the middle and high school cross country teams and is managed by Verona Area School District naturalist and high school science teacher, Matt Tiller.
Walter R. Scheidegger County Forest
The Walter R. Scheidegger County Forest is Verona's newest public recreation area, on the Town of Verona's south side (on Range Trail). Scheidegger was a Verona High School graduate who willed $534,420 to the Dane County Park Commission. The 73-acre site has rolling hills, ancient oak trees and springs.