National Trails Day
What’s National Trails Day® All About?
Taking place on the first Saturday in June, National Trails Day® is a day of public events aimed at advocacy and trail service. Thousands of hikers, bikers, rowers, horseback riders, trail clubs, federal and local agencies, land trusts, and businesses come together in partnership to advocate for, maintain, and clean up public lands and trails.
To learn more about the American Hiking Society National Trails Day®, take the pledge or find an event, visit their website here.
Madison has close to 2 miles of trails throughout our handful of open space properties. Below are three spotlights for trails within Madison for you to enjoy not only on National Trails Day, but throughout the year.
The MRC is a multi-use recreational complex located adjacent to the town’s high school. It includes playing fields, restrooms, a parking lot, hiking trails, rain gardens, and a community garden. In 2014, Madison completed a year-long visioning project to assess the future uses of the park, and trails were identified as a priority for local residents and park users.
In 2014, a local boy scout constructed a QR Code Trail, providing interpretive information of the trees and local ecology. Volunteers constructed a trail in the undeveloped lands, across from the playing fields, bringing visitors through the open meadow and forested section of the park.
In 2016 Madison Borough completed a Conservation Management Plan for the MRC which included recommendations for trails and for management of non-native plant species. The Borough has undertaken the removal of the invasive plant species, as recommended in the plan.
The MRC trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset.
View a map of the MRC trails here.
Memorial Park, Madison’s largest, includes 68 acres. It is unique in that it has a natural area with trails, but also is home to a soccer field, baseball fields, dog park, Community Pool, skating rink and a barn that houses the 42 year old “Nature Nuts” Program.
There are two parking areas on Rosedale Avenue, one at the ball field area and the other at the barn and skating rink. The dog park can be accessed by a short trail just beyond the red barn. Trails start by the dog park entrance and go to the ball fields. If visitors turn left at the fields, there is a pleasant woodland trail to Delbarton Field with two bridges over a meandering stream. All the paths are easy walking.
Note the large rock near the entrance of the path by the dog park, a long ago remnant of the Wisconsin Glacier which disappeared from our area around 9600 years ago and was totally gone approx. 7000 years ago.
Memorial Park is definitely an area to add to the list of parks to visit. Active or passive, the park has something for everyone.
Memorial Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Summerhill Park, Madison’s second largest park, is located between Ridgedale and Central Avenues, and comprised of 26 acres. The land, which included several residences, was acquired in 1974 through the Green Acres Program and has been kept as a passive park with trails through the hilly woodland terrain.
The paths extend in two directions so visitors can enjoy the land contours as well as the lovely woodland setting. Parking is convenient and picnic tables available. The Park has many access points thereby creating connectivity to our downtown, other parks and recreational facilities and two of our schools. Visitors can easily access the park’s trails from Dehart Place, Central Avenue and Ridgedale Avenue. On a beautiful weekend, start at the Ridgedale trailhead and take the loop to Dehart Place and from there walk into town.
Situated in the southwest corner of the park is the Luke Miller house, the oldest house in Madison dating back to the Revolutionary War. The house’s forge is now situated in the Park. Also of interest are old greenhouse ruins, visible from the driveway. These are remnants from a long gone but very successful commercial rose industry, hence Madison’s nickname “The Rose City”.
We encourage you to visit “Summerhill” and enjoy this quiet unique woodland park.
Summerhill Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
View a map of the Summerhill Park trails here.