Tag Archive | nature

Governor Nelson State Park


Gov Nelson State Park sign

Governor Nelson State Park is the one closest to our home, but this was our first time here. We wonder now why it took us so long, what a beautiful place! We hope to do some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing this winter there. This visit we looked for fall color and found plenty! Great trails too.

We hiked on the Woodland Trail, they even had a QR code on a sign to help you identify animal tracks you may see on your hike.

Woodland Trail at Gov Nelson State ParkIMG_8318


We didn’t see that but we did see an Ovenbird and Question Mark butterfly on our hike.


Question Mak Butterfly and Ovenbird


Lots of fall color! Here is a beautiful collection of autumn splendor!

Fall Color Collage at Gov Dodge

This park is on the shores of Lake Mendota, the largest in the Madison Chain of Lakes and northernmost. For great fishing information about these lakes, contact my brother Lee Tauchen. He is a Captain and professional fishing guide who will take you out in his boat to the best spots to catch the fish of your choice.

We made our way toward the lake and found a fish cleaning station. An anchor is on display nearby.

Fish Cleaning Station at Gov Nelson

Al and Laurie selfie with anchor

It was beautiful lakeside. we could see the Madison skyline from here. Staff were removing the piers for the winter the day we went. We were across from Governor’s Island from this location.


Madison Skyline from Gov Nelson

Governor's Island at Gov Nelson

This part of the park has a sandy beach and a very large shelter. Also a playground and even a checkers table!

Large Shelter at Gov Dodge

Beach at Gov Dodge

Checkers table at Gov Dodge

If you have a lot of items to bring down to the beach, they have carts you can use to do that.

Gov Nelson carts

We saw more color as we wound our way back to the car. This is a wonderful park and plan on coming back to see all the seasons.

Fall color at Gov. Dodge

Glenwood Children’s Park in Madison


Glenwood Childrens Park sign

Park plaque 1

Glenwood Park plaque 2

It’s hard to believe I have lived in Madison for 30 years and didn’t know about this park.  Not even my grandparents who lived not far from here when I was a kid.  This is a park of a natural sort, no equipment made by man, just made by Mother Nature.  This park was the last project designed  by Jens Jensen, who had a major influence in Door County.  We saw his museum there on Washington Island in 2011.  He also designed the famous “winding road” in Door County also, which we need to see sometime.

This park was once a quarry, now is a great area for kids to play, and plenty of climbing.  For many years the park fell into disrepair and neglect, but in recent years a major restoration has been taking place. I saw the results and was impressed!

Glenwood Childrens Park 1

Tree stump chairs

 Two tree stumps were carved into chairs on a hill, cool!  On top of another hill is a “Council Ring”  where groups can sit and talk around a fire.

Glenwood Park Council Ring

Here is a fun ravine with large sticks to build a fort out of!

Glenwood Park ravine

This is a great place for kids and adults alike, come here to relax in a natural environment that is easy to miss it is so secluded.  Even I missed it!

glenwood park sandstone

Lake View Hill Park – Madison Northside

Northside sign

Lake View Hill Park is a beautiful retreat from the bustle of the city high atop a hill overlooking Northport Drive and a view of Lake Mendota. The park is still undergoing restoration, these are spring 2011 and fall 2012 views.  This is the historic (but still in use) water tower. It may be replaced since the water capacity is not nearly enough.

Lake View Watertower

Lake View Hill Park sign

View from top of hill, over 1000 feet high!  The street below is Northport.  On the left is Maple Bluff jutting into the lake, you can just see the Capitol to the far left.

Lake View

An abandoned fountain is also there, a few flowers still grow  naturally.

Old fountain

Bee on flower

The building in the background is the Dept. of Health and Human Services. It was built in 1930 to house tuberculosis patients originally.

Dept of Health and Human Services in Madison

In the woods behind the building is a nature trail, in it are some foundations of buildings no longer there.

Building foundation full

Ramp of former building

Lake View Hill Park

For a great retreat into nature still in the city, come here!

Related Articles and Sites

* Friends of Lake View Hill Park

Community provides input on Lake View Hill Park project

* Hidden Madison, Lake View Woods, church, cemetery

* Madison Recognized as Bird City WisconsinBird City Wisconsin sign

Token Creek Park – A Refuge for Nature

Token Creek Park sign



Token Creek Park in theTown of Burke is near the Northside of Madison, entrance is near the Pine Cone Restaurant and Truck Stop.

pine cone truck stop


This park has a lot to offer, with nature trails and camping in the warmer months.

Token Creek Pond


Sedge Meadow Trail sign

The trail was for the most part a boardwalk, elevated above the marsh. It took me through woods and creekside.

Sedge Meadow trail


Token Creek


Also some dense woods..

Token Creek woods


This park is quite beautiful any time of the year.  I hope to see spring there this year.

Related Sites and Articles

*  Park Virtual Tours

* Pet Exercise area

* Trailmeister.com trail map

* Paddling  Token Creek to Cherokee Park