Preserve Hours

OPEN 4 AM - 10 PM daily

Parking lots are also open from 4 AM - 10 PM. Vehicles parked beyond this time may be ticketed.

Visitor Etiquette

We want you to enjoy your visit to the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Please keep in mind that the Preserve's mission is broad; it shelters plant and animal communities for teaching and research, provides space for environmentally sensitive recreation, and protects sacred Indian burial sites. By following the regulations below we can ensure that everyone will have a safe and enjoyable visit.

 Pedestrians walk along a path at Picnic Point.

  • Stay on marked trails.
  • No collecting or picking of plants, wood, stone, earth, or animals [UWS 18.06].
  • Dispose of waste in receptacles provided at each fire circle.
  • Biking is allowed on designated paths only--the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path from the Limnology Building on the east to Oxford Drive on the west in Shorewood Hills, and on the paved path that passes through the woods from the Temin Lakeshore Path to the intersection of Lake Mendota Drive and Eagle Heights Drive. Bicycling is not allowed on any interior trails including the main Picnic Point path or paved service roads. Bicycle racks are available at all parking lots, at the Lakeshore Residence Halls, and at several locations along the east end of the Temin Lakeshore Path.
  • Dogs are permitted on a leash which is physically controlled by the individual responsible for the animal. Pick up and properly dispose of waste [UWS 18.08(1b)].
  • Alcohol is only allowed for university sponsored events with an approved Alcohol Beverage Service Permit [UW Facility Use Policy P-7.1].
  • Charcoal and charcoal grills are not allowed.
  • Catered events are not allowed.
  • The use of tent or canopy stakes or anything that disturbs the ground is not allowed because of the need to protect the archeological integrity of the Preserve.
  • Amplified sound is not allowed; please respect the quiet ambience appreciated by other users.
  • The use of slacklines, hammocks, and rope swings is prohibited.
  • No camping.

Fire Circle Etiquette

  • Fires are only allowed in designated fire circles.
  • Wood is provided for free at racks found between fire circles. Please be conservative with wood use. 
  • Do not bring wood into the Preserve; it may harbor destructive insects or diseases.
  • Do not collect wood from the Preserve to burn; woody debris is essential for healthy woodlands.
  • Each fire circle is equipped with a cooking grate.
  • Vehicles may not be used to transport people or supplies to fire circles. The main Picnic Point path is wheelchair accessible.
  • Fires must be extinguished by 10PM, when the Preserve closes. Please take the time to completely put out your campfire, it could prevent a wildfire.

Contact the Preserve Program Manager for more information: or 608-265-9275


Photo by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison, University Communications.