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It’s time to get out on the water, Madison

Whether you own a boat or are looking to rent one, here’s what you need to know before spending a day on one of Madison’s lakes.

608 boat day

Enjoy the isthmus from the water this summer. | Photo by Chris Malchow

Boat launch piers have returned to many of Madison’s lakeside parks. Here’s what you need to know before planning your boat day.


This year’s lake access permits to launch motorboats, sailboats, kayaks, and canoes are valid through March 31, 2025.

Dane County resident pricing:

  • Daily | $8
  • Annual | $50
  • Annual for senior and/or disabled | $25
  • Annual for military or veterans | $25
  • Replacements or copies | $20

Permits are required at the following parks:

  • Law
  • Marshall
  • Olbrich
  • Olin
  • Spring Harbor
  • Tenney
  • Warner

Permits are not required at:

  • Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park
  • Vilas Park
  • Wingra Park and Boat Livery

No boat? No problem

Rent motorboats and more from the following local businesses:

Capitol Boat Club, 5339 Lighthouse Bay Dr.
Upgrade your boat rental experience by adding a towable tube, water pad, or even a boat captain.

Jet Ski Madison, 1201 Woodward Dr.
Rent jet skis for two hours to a full day, or a pontoon for four to eight hours.

Madison Boats, Various locations
Browse options from the four locations — Brittingham, Edgewater, Marshall, and Wingra — and over 400 boats.

Sunset, 620 N. Carroll St.
Your 24-foot pontoon rental includes a Yeti cooler, fish finder, and floaties.