The Yahara River – DeForest, Wisconsin

The Yahara River Offers
Recreational Opportunities all Year Long!


This stretch of the Yahara River is one of the most biologically valuale and unique of its entire course through Dane County.

Most streams and rivers in eastern Dane County suffer from decades of uncontrolled agricultural and urban stornwater runoff. Consequently aquatic life is limited to animals that tolerate war, soft-bottmed 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.

Fish Populations: List of Yahara River Fish Populations

Birding: Over 100 different bird species have been observed on our Upper Yahara River Trail.

Canoe/Kayaking: The Village of Deforest and the Friend of the Yahara River Headwaters have partnered t open up a water trail. Take a one day “staycation” in your own backyard. Pack a picnic lumch, 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 hope back in your water crat and continue down all the way to Windsor Rd.

Hiking along the River: If you preer 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

Yahara River Facts: Questions & Answers


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