DeForest Parks, Trails, and More!

When you are looking into buying a new home, it’s best to know what the community is like. If you are interested in moving to DeForest (or if you already live in DeForest and you’re just curious about the parks) then you’ve come to the right place!

The DeForest park system boasts 57 acres of community parkland, 30 acres of neighborhood parkland and over 300 acres of conservancy.  To that end, the village houses 9 developed parks and approximately 7 miles of trail.  Visit the parks to enjoy the playgrounds, athletic fields, movies in the park, picnic shelters, splash pad or any of DeForest’s special events!

DeForest Parksdefo-park

Dahl Park—4 acre park located on Halsor Street.  Contains playground and small pond area.

Fireman’s Park—11 acre park located between Jefferson and DeForest Street.

Hank’s Hollow Park—.3 acre tot lot located on Hank’s Hollow Trail. Includes various playground equipment.

Liberty Land Park—10 acre park stretching from Yorktown Road to Vinburn Road with access on Constitution Lane. Includes 1 mile bike/walking trail which will eventually connect with the Village of Windsor and Token Creek Park.

Meadow View Park—3 acre park with access on Pheasant Lane containing small ponds. Future plans include a walking trail and small gazebo.

River’s Turn Park – outdoor fitness park featuring 5 workout stations and park shelter.  Located off of Innovation Drive.  Learn more about River’s Turn Park here:  Fitness Park

Sunnybrook Park—4 acre park located off Riverside Drive.

Veteran’s Memorial Park—3.5 acre park located on North Main Street with a gazebo, memorial and large open play area.  Purchase a brick, make a donation, or learn more about the park by visiting the Veteran’s Memorial Foundation website: Veteran’s Memorial Foundation

Western Green Park—34 acre park stretching from Main Street to River Road with access also at Seminole Way and Trailside Drive.

Yahara Park—8 acre park on Trailside Drive with a second access point at Seminole Way.

Conservancy Commons Park – 3 acre park off of Innovation Drive. Includes a splash pad that operates from 10 am to 8 pm, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day each year.

Sunfish Pond – located off of Windsor Road and along the Upper Yahara River Trail.  More information on Sunfish Pond is available here: Sunfish Pond

Conservancy Lands and Trails

Bakke Conservancy— 12.5 conservancy acres located on North Stevenson Street. New prairie plantings and a dog walk area are being planned for future completion.

Schweer’s Conservancy—40 acre conservancy site on North Stevenson Street currently in the planning stages.

Yankee Environmental Conservancy—Located off of Highway 51 across from the Industrial Park. This conservancy serves as an environmental research station for area schools. Includes 3 large ponds. Access by permission only.

Yahara River Trail System—When completed, this trail system will loop through DeForest approximately 18 miles. The system will eventually connect to the Dane County trail system at Token Creek and with the City of Madison at Cherokee Marsh. Currently, the system contains the following trail segments: DeForest-Windsor Trail  (1 mile through Liberty Land Park and through Antique acres subdivision); Delkamp Trail  (.4 mile along North Stevenson Street); Mayapple Trail  (.5 mile along the Yahara River and Mayapple Circle); and Western Green Trail (2 mile trail through Western Green Park).


Upper Yahara River Trail


Upper Yahara River Trail (UYRT) users enjoy 2.7 miles (one way) of 10′ wide porous asphalt and boardwalk trail.  Parking stalls are available at the trail head on Windsor Road.

DeForest Windsor Trail

Finished Trail

DeForest and Windsor families will be safely biking and walking between communities this summer and beyond.  This is because Yahara Materials donated their services and materials to construct a 10’ wide, limestone trail connecting the Antique Acres and Holland Fields neighborhoods.

Yahara River

The Yahara River Offers
Recreational Opportunities all Year Long!

Fishing This stretch of the Yahara River is one of the most biologically valuable and unique of its entire course through Dane County. DNR fishery managers found 19 species of fish in this area, many of which are typically associated with relatively pristine waters.  Fish shocking surveys, in which biologists temporarily stun the fish so they can measure and identify them, uncovered brown trout, hornyhead chub, and fantail darter–all associated with cold water and rocky bottoms.

Most streams and rivers in eastern Dane County suffer from decades of uncontrolled agricultural and urban stormwater runoff. Consequently aquatic life is limited to animals that tolerate warm, soft-bottomed waters, like smallmouth bass and small forage fish.

So what makes this stretch of the Yahara River unique? Evidently the gradient of the stream, which quickens the flow and prevents accumulation of silt, and heavy groundwater inflow, which maintains cool water temperatures, have produced unusually high quality fish habitat.

Sunfish Pond is located off of Windsor Road and along the Upper Yahara River Trail.  The Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Department has been working to improve Sunfish Pond to better accommodate youth fishing and general passive recreation.  The picture to the right was taken at Sunfish Pond.

 Fish Populations: List of Yahara River Fish Populations

Birding: Over 100 different bird species have been observed on our Upper Yahara River Trail.  Bird Backpack available for rent at Village Hall.

Canoe/Kayaking:  The Village of DeForest and the Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters have partnered to open up a water trail.  Take a one day “staycation” in your own backyard.  Pack a picnic lunch, put your canoe in at Veteran’s Park (off of Main Street), enjoy a picnic by accessing Western Green Park (signed along the River) and then hop back in your water craft and continue down all the way to Windsor Rd.  See the water trail development link towards the bottom of this page for more information.

Hiking along the River:  If you prefer to enjoy the beauty of the river on land, take a walk along the Upper Yahara River Trail.  The trail is 3 miles long, traveling from South Street to Windsor Road.  Access the trail at any of the following locations:

  • South Street
  • Sunnybrook Park (Riverside Drive)
  • Indigo Drive
  • Innovation Drive
  • Sunburst Drive
  • Conservancy Plaza
  • Windsor Road

Dog Park

dog park.jpg

The DeForest dog park is located on N. Stevenson Street behind the Firestone building.  View a map here:  Dog Park Map.  Park hours are 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM daily.

Dog park users must comply with the posted park rules; which includes dogs to be legally licensed and vaccinated.

All dogs must have a permit to use the park.  For resident of the Village DeForest, tags will be issued when you renew your pet license at Village Hall. Non-residents of the Village may purchase a daily pass at $3 per day or an annual tag for $20.  Additional non-resident dogs from the same household are $5/dog.  Annual tags must be purchased at the Village Hall, 306 DeForest Street.

Replacement tags area available at Village Hall for $3.00.

Please make sure to use the designated dog park parking lot.  Firestone is a private drive and is not intended to serve park users.


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