Madison Winter
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6 Snowy Sports

Only in Greater Madison can we turn frigid temperatures into fun! Our frozen lakes and stunning landscapes bring out our best (and maybe slightly bizarre) ways to weather winter. If you haven’t tried these six snowy sports, make plans to make it to Madison this season.

  1. Snowshoe after dark
    Meander through Madison’s trails by snowshoe—and the soft glow of candles! The Candlight Snowshoe hike is an annual event organized by Aldo Leopold Nature Center that features more than 200 luminaries that light your way through this one-mile, family-friendly trek that ends with a roaring bonfire and hot chocolate.

  2. Check out curling
    In mid-February, we celebrate Winterfest by transforming our downtown into a winter wonderland, dumping 90 truckloads of snow on the Capitol Square! There, you can try unique winter sports such as curling, that crazy sport that combines special granite stones and brooms.

  3. Fish our frozen lakes
    If you have a Wisconsin Fishing license—and enough layers to live up to the winter weather—you can angle for an array of fish, from bluegills and perch to pike and walleye.

  4. Sled our steepest hill
    Elver Park is Madison’s biggest at 227 acres—but it also has the steepest sledding hill! They even make their own snow, so there’s always somewhere to sled, no matter what our winter weather. And it’s lit for evening sledders, too.

  5. Trade in your tires
    You’ll see cyclists riding fat-tire bikes throughout the city—and on our trails, too. The knobby, 4.5-inch tires allow for more stability and a relaxed experience. With the number of riders growing every year in Madison, many bike rental shops now offer fat-tire bikes to anyone willing to try.

  6. Go by kite
    True thrill seekers try snow-kiting, an exhilarating experience where you strap on skis or a snowboard, attach yourself to a kite and go for a ride on the lake—sometimes at a rate of 60 miles per hour! UW Hoofers and others have a full fleet of equipment available for members to rent.