Use of Hammocks, Slacklines, and Rope Swings Not Allowed in the Preserve

With spring came a resurgence of people using hammocks in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. It may seem like an ideal place to relax in one, however, their use is not allowed in the Preserve.

Here’s why:

  1. The Preserve is managed as a conservation area. Trees within the Preserve are not evaluated with regards to safety, stability and strength for use with active recreational activities. Some trees, especially those off-trail, may be weak wooded or in decline and are left to fall in place to provide natural bio-habitat in the Preserve. People can be injured or killed using hammocks. 
  2. Mechanical attachments to trees, especially oaks and elms, can result in wounds and injuries increasing susceptibility of these trees to vascular diseases and insect infestations, despite best efforts to protect the tree while attaching equipment. Tree damage can lead to tree death. 
  3. Posts for attaching these devices are not permitted because they may damage federally protected buried archaeological sites prevalent throughout the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.
  4. Slacklining is permitted in a number of Madison City Parks.

If you are interested, you can read the Policy on the Prohibition of Slacklines, Hammocks, and Other Recreational Devices (5-4-16).