Cherokee Marsh North Unit

Madison, WI
Length: 2.60 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

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Cherokee Marsh North Unit is part of the City of Madison park system. It has 946 acres and is located along the Yahara River that feeds into Lake Mendota. There is 2.6 miles of trails in this unit of the marsh that are a mix of dirt trail and metal or wood boardwalks, two conical mounds and has two observation platforms. The park also offers bird and nature walk events throughout the year.

You will start at the parking lot and the trailhead is right by the restrooms. There are a lot of intersecting parts to the trail, so you can pick and choose where you’d like to go and what you would like to see. With kids along, hiking to the observation desk along the marshland is a must, and along the prairie to the pond. The overlook is also a great stop. The trails have some mild elevation gain, which is kid friendly. there is a mix of wetlands, oak woodland and prairies along the trails within the park allowing for all kinds of wildlife observation. There is no wrong or right way to explore the trails here, pick your own path and make your own adventure!

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Trail Features

Surface type Dirt
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Lake, Picnic Area, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, and Wildlife Viewing

Observation platforms allow you to see the marsh from a different viewpoint and are fun for kids! Conservancy offers a variety of landscapes to hike through from wetlands to prairies. The large rocks at the trailhead in the parking lot are fun for kids to climb on.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

There is a main parking lot at the end of the road into the park.

Trail Contributor

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Hello, I’m Abby, one of the Branch Ambassadors for the Madison, WI Hike it Baby branch. I’m a mom to 3 kiddos ranging from baby to school aged. I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio and have lived in several states over the past few years including Indiana, Ohio, Florida and now Wisconsin! We’ve lived here since May 2017 and have absolutely fallen in love with the area and LOVE to explore all the outdoor areas around us. Hike it Baby quickly became part of our lives and has built an amazing community for our family. Looking forward to continue helping families explore and love the outdoors one hike at a time! Can’t wait to see you out on a hike!


Trail Map