Dane County Parks to Present Draft Recommendations for Indian Lake County Park and Halfway Prairie Wildlife Area Master Plan

September 11, 2023
Land & Water Resources

Contact:
Chris James
Park Planning Manager, Dane County Parks
(608) 235-2252
james@countyofdane.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dane County Parks to Present Draft Recommendations for Indian Lake County Park and Halfway Prairie Wildlife Area Master Plan

MADISON, WI - September 11, 2023 - Dane County Parks has completed a draft master plan that provides recommendations for future management, recreation use and park facility development at Indian Lake County Park and the adjacent Halfway Prairie Wildlife Area. The park and wildlife area have extensive Native American and early European settlement history that are also documented in the plan. The County currently owns approximately 800 acres within the recreation park boundary and 150 acres within the wildlife area boundary. Both properties are located in the Town of Berry along STH 19 approximately 2 miles west of USH 12. 

“Indian Lake County Park is one of the most popular parks in the system,” said Dane County Park Commission Chair Tom Thoresen. “The Commissioners are very excited about ideas in the plan to expand hiking and cross country ski trails while also continuing to focus on preserving and enhancing the natural areas of the park.”

Indian Lake County Park currently offers a timber frame shelter with restroom and playground picnic area, scenic overlook, historic chapel, group camp with warming cabin, approximately six miles of hiking and cross country ski trails, an off-leash dog park and small lake access facility. The park is used extensively in the winter for cross country skiing, and in the summer and fall for hiking, fishing and dog walking. Halfway Prairie Wildlife Area provides hunting, foraging, hiking and snowshoeing recreation opportunities. The park and wildlife area are located in the non-glaciated driftless area of the County and include a segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that offers spectacular scenic views of the lake and surrounding hills.

The planning process evaluated existing cultural, natural and historical features in the planning area and incorporated public, stakeholder, and staff input to create the recommendations found within the report. The process included an interactive website and series of public information, local unit of government, and stakeholder meetings from March of 2022 through summer of 2023. In addition, a survey was distributed to park patrons during the summer of 2022 to solicit comments on existing park facilities, future management and park development ideas. 

Some of the proposed draft improvements to existing park and wildlife area facilities that are recommended include upgrades to all parking lot areas, a new picnic shelter, additional hiking and cross country ski trails, dog park improvements and improved access to the group camp. 

Dane County Parks will be presenting draft plan recommendations to the Town of Berry on Monday, September 18th, 7:00 pm, 9046 State Road 19, Mazomanie at their regularly scheduled Town Board meeting.

A public information meeting will also be held to review draft plan recommendations and gather public input on Tuesday, September 26th, 7:00 p.m. at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Rd, Madison, WI 53711. A virtual participation option will be available at this location – preregistration required. A recording will also be available on the project website.

For more information about the plan, visit the project website:
https://www.danecountyparks.com/propertyplan/detail/Indian-Lake-Halfway-Prairie

For further information about the upcoming meetings and the project, contact Chris James, Dane County Parks at (608) 235-2252 or james@countyofdane.com.

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