Lower Yahara River Trail


5 Reviews

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Lower Yahara River Trail Facts

States: Wisconsin
Counties: Dane
Length: 2.5 miles
Trail end points: McDaniel Park (McFarland) and Lussier Family Heritage Center (Madison)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Boardwalk
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 8690500

Lower Yahara River Trail Description

Dane County's Lower Yahara River Trail offers an incredibly scenic experience in the Madison area. On its western end, the 2.5-mile paved pathway connects to the Capital City State Trail near the Lussier Family Heritage Center, then traverses Lake Farm County Park. Spanning more than 300 acres, the park offers woodland and prairie landscapes, a boat launch, a campground, and an archaeological district on the National Register of Historic Places that can be explored through interpretive signage along the Lake Farm Heritage Trail.

From the park, the river trail crosses the north shore of Lake Waubesa on the state's longest continuous bicycle/pedestrian bridge and boardwalk system. The mile-long structure parallels a railroad bridge and includes a floating boardwalk over wetlands as well as overlooks to take in the picturesque views. A fishing platform is also located adjacent to the bridge.

The trail ends in McDaniel Park in McFarland, where you'll find restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables and grills, and a playstructure.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available on the west end of the trail in Lake Farm County Park (3113 Lake Farm Road, Madison) and on the east end of the trail in McDaniel Park (4806 McDaniel Lane, McFarland).

Lower Yahara River Trail Reviews

Swiss Miss

Nice quick ride from Lake Farm Park to McFarland but BUSY on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in fall! Continued biking on side streets which were less busy than the trail!!


My kids loved it! Great view! And they enjoyed the whole ride!

Beautiful trail but be aware

Gorgeous trail but be aware that the section of the trail that courses through Lake Farm Park has occasional automobile/truck/camper traffic for a group camp located within Lake Farm Park. Motorists are instructed to stay as far to the right as possible, have to yield to pedestrians and bikes and cannot pass vulnerable users. Other than that enjoy!

Lake trail

The boardwalk along the lake extends for about a mile. After that is park space that has side trails for hikers, picnic spots,horseshoe pits and more.
For bikers this connects with bike paths that lead into Madison for extra mileage as the trail is fairly short for a bike ride.


Not To Be Missed

We rode this trail in August, after discovering the trail around the city was closed. Turned out to be one of the highlights in our week long vacation of riding in the area. Walk, run, bike, etc. do not miss this very scenic experience. You won't be disappointed, I promise. Pa. Tandem Team (72 & 69 yrs. old)

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