Walk the (new) Lower Yahara River Trail

  • June 06, 2018
  • 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Trailhead: McDaniel Village Park
  • 24


  • The member may register a guest.


Welcome to a unique walk across and along Lake Waubesa. 

A Dane County Naturalist will lead a 3 mile walk along a new walk/bike path. 

About the Lower Yahara River Trail:

 Phase 1 of the Lower Yahara River Trail was opened to the public on August 27, 2017.  This trail provides an off-road connection between the City of Madison and the Village of McFarland that didn’t previously exist. It includes the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America!  The mile-long bridge spans Lake Waubesa, connecting the Capital City Trail with McDaniel Park in the Village of McFarland. The bridge runs alongside an active railroad corridor and includes an accessible fishing pier, rest stops, and observation areas with picturesque views.  

Walk Description:

The walk will cover 1/2 mile of fairly flat dirt path through a woods along the edge of Lake Waubesa and a 1 mile suspended boardwalk over the lake.  We will walk this trail both ways for a total of three miles and then have lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Our guide is a Dane County Naturalist who will tell us about:

  • The boardwalk construction challenges and unique design elements
  • The collaborative construction effort 
  • The history of Dane County bike/foot paths and how this new addition links into the system.
  • What is Capital Springs Recreation Area and plans for expansion.
  • Long term plans for the bike/walking paths east and south of Madison

Park Description:

The nearly 2,500 acre Capital Springs Recreation Area is cooperatively operated and managed by Dane County Parks and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with additional support from the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area.  Recreation opportunities include wildlife viewing, cross country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, fishing and camping.  The Capital Springs Recreation Area boundary features many parks, trails and natural resource points of interest.

  • Overview Map (Capital City State Trail / Capital Springs Recreation Area)

Driving Directions and Parking:

We will access the trail from the east at McDaniel Park in the Village of McFarland. Trailhead: McDaniel Village Park, McFarland, Wisc.

Map and directions:  

Get Directions


There is a park shelter about 1 1/2 miles into our walk.  I have asked that the restrooms be unlocked for the morning.

About our $10 fee:

PLATO charges a $10 fee for each walk.  We normally use a guide who is a member of the associated friends group.  PLATO then will pass this registration fee onto the friends group as a way of saying thanks.


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For more info about PLATO contact:

Louise Fowler
UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715

Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

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