Close to half of the Yahara Watershed’s shorelines include public lands and parks. Here are
a few hidden gems, which happen to be some of Clean Lakes Alliance’s favorite spots to enjoy our waters!
Jaeger Park, Yahara River
Named after prominent McFarland resident Conrad Jaeger who had a passion for conservation, is Jaeger Park on the Yahara River. This small, peaceful park is the perfect spot to launch a kayak or canoe for a trip on the Yahara River. The public dock is great for watching wildlife in the nearby Thurn Marsh.
Raymer’s Cove, Lake Mendota
The cove is accessible from Mendota Drive near the Eagle Heights Community Center. Raymer’s Cove provides a lake overlook perfect for an afternoon stroll or viewing an evening sunset any time of year. Visitors can take a staircase down to the water’s edge and get an up-close view of the sandstone cliffs where Raymer’s Ravine meets the lake.
Governor’s Island, Lake Mendota
First off, it’s not really an island thanks to a human-made land bridge from the Mendota Mental Health Institute. The 60-acre “island” has walking paths and a very enjoyable 3/4 mile loop. In addition to being able to launch a kayak or canoe from the island, it also provides some fantastic views. Views include Maple Bluff, the University of Wisconsin Campus, and the Wisconsin State Capitol Building.
Wyldhaven Park, Lake Monona
Blink and you’ll miss the entrance to this hidden gem. It is a small, recently renovated, quarter-acre park. It is located on Tonyawatha Trail at the intersection of Wyldhaven Avenue. The small beach includes a pier and permanent seating. It is a fantastic place to watch the sun disappear behind the downtown cityscape. In fact, Wyldhaven Park is the spot where the cover photo of our 2021 Greater Madison Lake Guide was taken!
Fish Camp County Park, Lake Kegonsa
The Yahara River enters Lake Kegonsa at Fish Camp County Park. This long park is located on the eastern shore of Lake Kegonsa. It offers fishing near the dam, as well as great sunset views over Lake Kegonsa. The picnic area, paved trail, and large trees make it a great family destination. There is also a shoreline buffer garden, monarch waystation, and informational signs sharing the history of Fish Camp.
See more beaches and parks around our Yahara lakes, and find out the latest water quality in those locations at LakeForecast.org!
Learn more about each of our Yahara lakes: