Parks & Trails Unite Festival
June 2, 2018 - Celebrating our Connected Communities
Festival Hours: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm - rain or shine!
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 a 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.
A majority of the proceeds from this event will help build capacity of Dane County volunteers and the sixteen friends groups that support individual county parks. A portion of the proceeds donated by event sponsors will benefit local nonprofit partners as well as support United Madison in their effort to support a unified, thriving community for EVERYONE .
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.
Check out our event page on Facebook!
Click map to enlarge
Attendees can travel between parks via our new Lower Yahara River Trail boardwalk bridge (about 1.5 miles between parks one way) or by hoping on a pontoon boat for a free ride across Lake Waubesa.
Activity & Event Areas
All activities are free! Each activity will have an optional donation jar so you can help support the Festival and Dane County Parks if you choose. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Lake Farm County Park:
Refreshments & Live Music (Shelter #2)
- Festival Biergarten from Noon to 7:00 pm (hosted by the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area)
- Food vendors (see list on "Refreshments" tab)
- Live Music (see schedule on "Live Music" tab)
- Festival Information Booth & Dane County Parks Store
Activity Zone 1 (Pier Area near Shelter #2)
- Nature Walks:
- 10:00 am - with Madison Friends of Urban Nature
- 11:00 am - Plant Identification with Dane County Parks
- 1:00 pm - "I Spy" nature walk for kids with Dane County Parks
- 3:00 pm - Geology hike with Ice Age Trail Alliance
- Pontoon Rides from Lake Farm County Park to McDaniel Park will run all day and give you an up close look at the boardwalk bridge from the water. Pontoons are courtesy of MSCR and Marshall Boats. Throughout the day some of these rides will feature special educational talks, including:
- 10:30 am - Fishery of Lake Waubesa
- 12:30 - Lake Waubesa Limnology
- 1:30 pm - Lake Waubesa History
- 4:30 pm - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- The Dane County Sheriff’s Marine and Trail Enforcement Bureau will have their patrol boat docked to the pier so you can see it up close and imagine what it would be like to be a deputy out patrolling the water.
- Orienteering using Map & Compass (On The Map, LLC)
Activity Zone 2
- Festival Information Booth - at bike parking entrance
- Basic Bike Maintenance Tips (Dream Bikes)
- Bike Safety Checks (The Bike Mobile)
- Critter Corner:
- 10:00 am - Noon - Insect Ambassadors Exhibit (UW Entomology Department)
- Noon - 2:00 pm - Zoo animals! (Henry Vilas Zoo)
- 2:00 - 7:00 pm - Reptiles and Amphibians (The Madison Area Herpetological Society)
- Skins & Skulls and Living Lockets activities (Aldo Leopold Nature Center and Nature Net)
- Madison Friends of Urban Nature
- Hoop Toss Games ( Madison Parks Division)
- Meet the Animals! (UW Extension 4-H Program)
- Hands-On 4-H Healthy Living Activities (UW Extension 4-H Program)
- Ask-A-Master-Gardener and Pollinator Information and Activities (UW Extension)
- Compost and Gardening info (Badger Prairie Community Garden)
- Explore Wisconsin’s Glacial Past along the Ice Age Trail (Ice Age Trail Alliance)
- Dive Into Local History (Dane County Historical Society and Bob Birmingham, former state archaeologist of Wisconsin)
- Mountain Bike Test Course (Capital Off Road Pathfinders)
Activity Zone 3
- Sponsor booths - details coming soon!
- Archery (WDNR Archery Education Program)
- Rock Climbing Wall - anyone under the age of 18 must have a legal guardian present to sign a waiver
Activity Zone 4
- Mini Disc Golf Course (Mad City Disc Golf) - The nearby Capital Springs Disc Golf Course will also be free for use during the Festival.
- Circus Activities for Kids (The Rumpus Room)
- Pop up Photoshoot (CommUnity Arts)
- Bike Safety (Dane County Sheriff's Office)
- Science is Fun - Exploration Station (UW Madison)
- Kids Tree Climb (Dane County Parks & WI Arborist Association )
- Bouncy House
Exhibition Area Zone 5 (Shelter #3)
- Details coming soon
Land & Water Conservation Information and Activities
- Water Protection Station - learn more about water and what you can do!
- Where Does the Water Go? (Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District)
- Learn to be an Aquatic Invasive Species Detective - (River Alliance of WI and WDNR)
- Fly Tying Demonstrations (Badger Fly Fishers)
- How to be a Citizen Water Monitor (Clean Lakes Alliance)
- Rainfall Simulator (Dane County Land & Water Resources)
Pontoon Rides & Kayak Exploration
- Pontoon rides from McDaniel Park to Lake Farm County Park will run all day and give you an up close look at the boardwalk bridge from the water. Pontoons are courtesy of MSCR and Marshall Boats. Throughout the day some of these rides will feature special educational talks, including:
- 11:15 am - Fishery of Lake Waubesa
- 1:15 - Lake Waubesa Limnology
- 2:15 pm - Lake Waubesa History
- 5:15 pm - Lower Yahara River Trail Bridge Construction
- Paddling Adventure Tours!
- 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Stand Up Paddleboard tours with Madison Boats
- 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Tandem Kayak tours with Rutabaga Paddlesports
- Both activities are wind and weather dependent
Refreshments & Live Music
- Homebrew Contest sponsored by the Hopslingers Homebrew Club and One Barrel Brewing - Details coming soon!
- Food vendors (see list on "Refreshments" tab)
- Live Music (see schedule on "Live Music" tab)
Future Phases of the Lower Yahara Trail
Learn more about this exciting new trail and plans for the future which will eventually extend the trail all the way down to Stoughton.
McFarland Info booth
Learn more about events and activities in McFarland
Matt Splinter Memorial Softball Tournament in nearby Brandt Park
Brandt Park is right down the road from McDaniel Park and will be hosting the Matt Splinter Memorial Softball Tournament June 1-3. The tournament started in 2005 in the memory of Matt Splinter, a lifelong McFarland resident who loved and played softball throughout Dane County. Revenue from the tournament goes toward park improvements and maintenance, scholastic and athletic scholarships, and also for equipment and uniforms for area local sports teams. There is no cost to attend the tournament and concessions will be available for purchase. We encourage festival attendees to stop by the tournament and support their cause! Visit their website for more information.
Avoid parking and traffic by parking for FREE at the Alliant Energy Center! From there you can bike 3.3 miles to the festival grounds (a 20-25 minute ride) or hop on a FREE shuttle, courtesy of the Sierra Club - Four Lakes Group. Check out this map for parking location, biking route and shuttle stop location.
Parking lot details: Enter the Alliant Energy Center via Alliant Energy Center Way and turn right into the first parking lot.
FREE Shuttle Details: Two FREE shuttles will run from 10:00am – 5:00pm, picking up every half hour from the Alliant Energy Center shuttle stop ( see map ). One of these busses is accessible and can transport wheelchairs and strollers. The shuttles will return every half hour from Lake Farm County Park. The last shuttle will leave from the park at 6:30pm.
Public Transit to the Alliant Energy Center: Take the #13 bus to the Rimrock & John Nolen (WB) stop. From there it is a 5 minute walk to the Alliant Energy Center parking lot. Make sure to check route schedules and maps to plan your trip.
- Accessible parking is available at Shelter #1 inside the park. Accessible carts will be avaiable to shuttle you to the main festival area.
- 750+ parking spots will be available at Lake Farm County Park (4330 Libby Rd , Madison).
- 300+ spots are available on Lake Farm Road, across from the Lussier Family Heritage Center – 15 minute walk to festival grounds
- Volunteer Parking Only: 100 parking spots are available at the Lussier Family Heritage Center (3101 Lake Farm Rd , Madison) for festival volunteers.
Bike with Bombay and Madison Bikes: Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes invite you to join them for a short community ride to the Parks & Trails Unite Festival (4 miles - 25-35 minute bike ride). To join them, meet at Olin-Turville Ct. (south parking lot) at 11:45 am (wheels roll at Noon). Free parking is available at the Olin-Turville Ct. south parking lot or at the Alliant Energy Center.
to 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.
We will have bus parking available for large groups. Please contact us in advance for special bus unloading and parking instructions.
Nearby Parking Options
Several businesses in McFarland have opened up their parking lots for festival parking on June 2. View all McFarland festival parking options on Google Maps.
- Parking lots @ 4831, 4861, 4893, and 4896 Larson Beach Road (0.8 miles - 5 minute bike ride; 17 minute walk)
- Gingerbread House Preschool parking lot - 5224 Farwell Street (1.3 miles - 7 minute bike ride; 25 minute walk)
- US Vet General Contracting LLC parking lot - 5350 Paulson Road (1 mile - 5 minute bike ride; 18 minute walk)
- Tom's Auto Center Inc - 5402 Paulson Road (1 mile - 5 minute bike ride; 18 minute walk)
to 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. Refreshment areas will offer picnic table style seating and live music. Picnic blankets and lawn chairs welcome! Picnic table seating will be available in the music and refreshment areas at both parks. We encourage you to bring folding chairs or blankets if you would like to ensure you have seating for enjoying refreshments or listening to music.
Lake Farm County Park
A one-day, roped-off biergarten will be open from Noon - 7:00 pm featuring beverages from Wisconsin Brewing Company and One Barrel Brewing. Alcoholic beverages must remain inside the biergarten area. Everyone purchasing alcohol must show their ID (no exceptions). This biergarten is being hosted by the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area.
- Toast - Madison’s best paninis
- Jolly Frog LLC - Mexican cuisine
- FIBS - Italian beef, sausage and meatball sandwiches
- Egg Rolls Center - Hmong egg rolls
- Fast N' Fresh - k nown for their smoked pulled pork sandwiches
- Jamerica Restaurant - Caribbean cuisine
- Chrysalis - l ocal, organic fruit pops with a purpose
Food Vendors in the Park
- Angelo's - Italian cuisine
- McFarland House Cafe - cuisine that will fill your belly and warm your heart
- Calliope Ice Cream - creative and delicious flavor combinations
The following restaurants are adjacent to the park and will be open for business during the Festival!
- 5100 - 5100 Erling Avenue, McFarland
- Green Lantern - 4412 Siggelkow Rd, McFarland
- Park Side Pub - 5016 Erling Ave, McFarland
Sponsored by the Hopslingers Homebrew Club and One Barrel Brewing - Details coming soon!
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.
For the cause-marketing media package, sponsors must commit by April 1. After April 1 contact Diane Hanson (United Madison) to explore additional sponsorship options.
Thank you to our partners and sponsors!
The Evjue Foundation
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
The Alliant Energy Center is providing free off-site festival parking and Sierra Club - Four Lakes Group is providing two free shuttles to transport people to and from the festival. Learn more on our "Getting There" tab.
Don’t want the festival fun to end? We have a limited number of bike or walk-in campin g spots available at the Lake Farm County Park group camp on Saturday, June 2. Festival attendees that pre-purchase tickets, can camp at the park after the festival and enjoy a campfire and live acoustic music by Karen Wheelock . We recommend that attendees bring a blanket or camping chair for seating.
- Bike camping check in: 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
- Acoustic music: 8:00 – 9:30 pm.
- All camping equipment must be removed by 11:00 am on Sunday, June 3.
Setup: Tents may be set up in the designated area at anytime dur ing the festival. Ask at one of our Parks Information Booth s if you need help locating the camping area. This area will not be guarded so no valuables should be left in tents. Dane County Parks is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Check In: Check in is betweek 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Once you check in you will get a tag for your tent. This will help ensure that all tent occupants have checked in.
Cost: $30 per person.
Each attendee must purchase a ticket. $25 of each ticket can be considered a tax-deductible donation to Dane County Parks and will help support our volunteer program.
Will there be a place to lock up my bike?
There will be bike racks on site. Dane County Parks is not responsible for lost or stolen bikes.
Will there be food or beverages?
Food is available for purchase from festival food vendors until 7:00 pm. Users may bring their own food and beverages but must clean up all trash and recycling before leaving on Sunday. Alcoholic beverages are permitted at this event.
If I want to park and walk, where do I go?
You can park in the Lake Farm Festival parking area detailed on the "Getting There" tab. We will email additional details prior to the event. Stay tuned!
If you have additional questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake Farm County Park
Volunteers must check in at the Lussier Family Heritage Center (3101 Lake Farm Rd, Madison) a minimum of 30 minutes before their shift starts. If volunteers drive, they can park at the Heritage Center and will be shuttled to the park after they check in. Volunteers can also walk to the park (15 minutes) or go bike if they brought a bike. Volunteers can remain parked at the Heritage Center after their shift if they would like to stay and enjoy the festival.
When you check in, you will receive a map, volunteer vest, souvenir festival t-shirt, name tag, and instructions about your volunteer shift.
The Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area are hosting a one-day biergarten from Noon - 7:00 pm during the festival to help raise additional money to support our parks! They are looking for volunteers to help them out. All volunteers MUST be 21 or older and attend a one-hour training at Wisconsin Brewing Company (1079 American Way, Verona) at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, May 30 for a quick training and overview prior to the festival.