Snow helps open Madison Parks to winter fun

Snow helps open Madison Parks to winter fun

On fairways that just a few weeks ago saw rare December golf played cross country skiers are now riding into winter.  The 5-inch snow fall earlier this week opened Odana Hills and Yahara Hills Golf Courses, along with Elver Park, to cross country skiing and snowshoeing.  The sledding hill at Elver Park is also open.

“Mother Nature hasn’t presented itself until just recently with the snow that we had,” says Tracey Hartley, coordinator of recreation services for the City of Madison Parks Division.

Odana Hills and Yarhara Hills Golf Courses and Elver Park offer nearly 14 miles of groomed trails for cross country skiers.  The city also offers a warming shelter and ski rentals at some locations.

“We’ll have rentals of cross country skis at Elver Park and Odana Hills Golf Course, and snowshoeing is available at any of our parks.  Just stay off the groomed trails, but if you have snowshoes it would be great to get out to any Madison Park and utilize that opportunity,” says Hartley.

A cross country ski permit is required for Elver Park, Odana Hills and Yahara Hills.  Annual permits are available for $30 and a daily permit is available for $7.  Senior and disabled permits are available for $15.

While cross country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding are available at Madison City Parks, ice skating facilities have not opened yet because conditions have not been cold enough.  The parks department hopes to open ice skating facilities in another week.

For more information about winter activities available at Madison City Parks, visit