Campus Natural Areas and Gardens at UW-Madison


(608) 265-9275
(608) 263-3023 -- Gary Brown, Director

Email --General Inquiries -- Gary Brown, Director

Fax (608) 265-3139

Division of Facilities Planning & Management
30 North Mills, 4th floor
Madison, WI 53715

If you’re searching for a perfect place to enjoy nature, UW-Madison has 325 acres of opportunity. Visit the above website or call 608-265-9275 for more information on areas which comprise the Lakeshore Nature Preserve:

Muir Woods

Named for John Muir, the famous naturalist and author who was a student at the university in the 1860s, large red oak, white oak and basswood dominate the canopy of this woods and the ground layer includes many wildflowers.

Howard Temin Lakeshore Path

The Howard Temin Lakeshore Path connects the Memorial Union with Picnic Point. It began as a drive for horses and bicycles in the 19th century and has remained a natural corridor for travel to the west campus area. This path was dedicated in 1998 to Nobel Laureate Howard Temin, late professor virology and oncology.

Class of 1918 Marsh

This 19-acre marsh is a remnant of a 200-acre wetland that was drained for agricultural use and subsequently used as a landfill. The marsh and upland are being studied by several university classes with the goal of restoring biological inclusion diversity .

Picnic Point

This heavily wooded peninsula extends far out into Lake Mendota, and is a popular bird-watching area, especially during spring and fall migrations.

University Bay

University Bay is a shallow water bay of Lake Mendota sheltered on the north and west by Picnic Point. The marsh is an excellent area for observing spring and fall migrating waterfowl.

Frautschi Point

This wooded site west of Picnic Point provides outstanding views of the lake. It is being managed to preserve older oak trees and to control invading species like garlic mustard, honeysuckle, and buckthorn that are crowding out native species.

North Shore Woods

This 15-acre woods extends along the lake west from Frautschi Point. It is the site of the former Tent Colony, which provided housing for students during Summer Session. It provides an attractive walk along the lake.

Eagle Heights Natural Area

This 28-acre woods on a glacial drumlin includes footpaths and three effigy mounds erected by Native Americans. Most of the forest has never been logged and gives a good representation of what the land was like before European settlement.

Lake Mendota Footpath

This footpath extends over the two miles from Picnic Point to Eagle Heights, passing primarily through wooded land. It provides outstanding views of the lake.

In addition, you are invited to visit these award-winning gardens:

Allen Centennial Gardens

Located on the corner of Observatory and Babcock drives These 22 magnificent gardens are UW-Madison’s largest outdoor horticultural classroom. Representing gardening styles from around the world, it is a perfect location for a quiet stroll or for getting ideas for you own masterpiece garden.

Botany Greenhouses and Garden

Located between Lathrop and Chamberlin halls Eight hundred plant specimens from all over the world are arranged in evolutionary sequence and labeled by name.

How to visit:

1. If you are new to the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, we urge you to explore the Interactive Map first.

2. Then, browse the Plan a Visit webpage to get ideas for your type of visit.

3. Looking for NEW places to explore? Start with the Place Index or the Reading the Landscape webpage

Owner:Geoff M.Group:Campus and Visitor Relations
Created:2009-04-08 19:00 CDTUpdated:2016-08-22 11:17 CDT
Sites:Campus and Visitor Relations
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