Parks & Trails Unite Festival

June 2, 2018 - Celebrating our Connected Communities


Help us celebrate our amazing parks and trails at an event designed to bring us ALL together! Dane County Parks is teaming up with United Madison to host a one of a kind Parks & Trails Unite Festival. This free community event will encourage unity, give us the opportunity to lift each other up to better understand and learn from one another, and celebrate our amazing parks and trails and the community connections that they provide.

The Festival will take place in BOTH Lake Farm County Park and McDaniel Park, that includes the new Lower Yahara River Trail and it’s mile-long boardwalk bridge that connects the two parks and provides an off-road trail connection between Madison and McFarland that didn’t previously exist. This free festival will include live music, food carts, motivational speakers, educational and cultural displays, live demonstrations, local TV and media personalities, activity stations for adults and kids, pontoon rides, a one-day biergarten, and other activities, too numerous to list.

The funds raised will be stretched far and wide to benefit our community in a way never done before.  A majority of the proceeds will help build capacity of Dane County volunteers and the sixteen friends groups that support individual county parks. The work that these individuals do for the betterment of Dane County Parks and our communities is essential. Last year the parks had over 3,500 volunteers that put in an unbelievable 66,880 hours. That equates to well over a million dollars in labor. A portion of the proceeds donated by event sponsors will benefit local nonprofit partners as well as supporting United Madison in their effort to support a unified, thriving community for EVERYONE . We hope you will join us at this festival to celebrate and support the parks and trails you love and help lift up and unite our community!

Dane County Parks are dog friendly!  If you plan to bring your pup with you to the Festival, please review our Dog Rules to make sure the festival is safe and fun for all.

We will be selling t-shirts at this event to help raise additional funds and need awesome park-themed designs.  Learn more!     

Let your friends know you'll be there and watch a video about the new trail on our Facebook event page!

Festival Hours: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Parks & Trails Unite Festival Map








Click map to enlarge

Getting Around

Attendees can travel between parks by walking or biking across our new Lower Yahara River Trail bridge and boardwalk (about 1.5 miles between parks one way), or by hoping on a pontoon boat for a free ride across Lake Waubesa. 

Event Areas

Lake Farm County Park:

  • Cultural & Natural History
  • Refreshments & Live Music 
  • Activities & Sponsor Booths
  • Kid Zone 
  • Exhibition Area

McDaniel Park:

  • Land & Water Conservation Information and Activities
  • Future phases of the Lower Yahara River Trail
  • Refreshments & Live Music

Lake Farm Stage

10:30 - 11:30 am  - Anna Wang
Noon - 12:45 pm - The Handphibians
1:30 - 3:00 pm - Lords of the Trident
4:30 - 6:30 pm - Pearls and Tar

McDaniel Stage

10:30 - 11:30 am  - Kendra Swanson
12:30 - 2:00 pm - Evan Murdock and the Imperfect Strangers
3:00 - 4:30 pm - TBD
5:00 - 6:30 pm - Bird's Eye


June 2 is National Trails Day so no permit is required to use the bike trails that day.  We encourage biking to the event! There will be plenty of space to lock up your bike. There will also be Park & Bike locations in Madison and McFarland so even if you are traveling from far away you can still bike in to the event.  Park & Bike information and suggested routes coming soon.


Parking is available at both parks but the number of spaces are limited. We encourage people to bike if they can. An accessible drop off location will be available at both locations. Parking and dropoff location information coming soon.

Public Transit from Madison

Lake Farm County Park: Take the #16 or #5 bus to the Moorland Rd. & Manor Dr. stop. From there it is a 30 minute walk along the Capital City Trail to the Festival grounds at Lake Farm County Park. Make sure to check route schedules and maps to plan your trip.

McDaniel Park: Take the #31 bus to the Valor & Star Spangled stop. From there it is a 15-20 minute walk to the Festival grounds at McDaniel Park. Make sure to check route schedules and maps to plan your trip.

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase at both parks. Stay tuned for details!

Become a sponsor for the 2018 Parks & Trails Unite Festival! 

Your sponsorship of this event will ensure that our parks, trails and important natural resources are protected today and for generations to come. The Parks & Trails Unite Festival will bring the community together to celebrate these resources and the opening of the new Lower Yahara River Trail.

Of your total sponsorship investment, 50% goes directly to Dane County Parks and the rest is divided between the media campaign, your nonproft partner, and United Madison. The value of this investment will be stretched considerably due to our unique partnership with United Madison and the additional exposure generously donated by their media partners.

Sponsor Packet



Thank you to our partners and sponsors!


United Madison LogoVillage of McFarland LogoFriends of Dane County Parks





Bridge Sponsors - $10,000

MG&E Foundation logo






Trail Sponsors - $5,000

The Evjue Foundation


Support Sponsors - $2,500

SVA logoCrazy Lenny's E-Bikes logo





Friend Sponsors - $500 - $2,499

Summit Credit Union logo

TDS Logo

Don Tierney logo


Dean logo  



Friends of Capital Springs, Berbee Walsh Foundation, Tom Thoresen, Dan Wisniewski, Jim Hubing, Mike Slavney, Bill Lunney and Judie Pfeifer, Andy Lewis, Lon Sprecher, Matt Carlson, Caryl Terrell, Dean Kalmerton, Kurt Krumholz, Rick Eilertson.

Parks & Trails Unite Logo designed by Justin King