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.
- Strap on some snowshoes
Meander through Madison’s trails by snowshoe—and the soft glow of candles! The Candlelit Snowshoe Hike is an annual event organized by Aldo Leopold Nature Center that features hundreds of luminaries that light your way through this one-mile, family-friendly trek that ends with a roaring bonfire and hot chocolate. Or you can join a UW-Madison student for a new snowshoe experience through the Wisconsin Union. Trek to picnic point for a bonfire, or voyage to the middle of the frozen lake to a beautiful view of Madison.
- Check out curling
In mid-February, we celebrate Madison Winter Festival by embracing all the best, and unique, parts of winter. There, you can try unusual winter sports such as curling, that crazy sport that combines special granite stones and brooms.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.