Ten Views of Lake Wingra

The Madison area is known for its four lakes. But there’s a fifth, and its history, ecology and beauty are well worth a tour

(page 9 of 10)

Don't forget Lake Wingra in the winter

9. DON’T FORGET WINTER

It’s a frigid Sunday afternoon. Instead of avoiding the elements you decide to head to Vilas Park, where men, women and children embrace winter by playing pond hockey for hours with an enthusiasm that makes them oblivious to cold. Sounds carry: skates cutting across the ice, the slap of a stick, hoots of delight after a goal. “It’s like being a kid again,” says a man in his forties. “You know how, when you were a kid, and you did things that were just pure, unadulterated fun, and you did them for no other reason than the sheer enjoyment of it?” The Wingra area also offers miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in the Arboretum, and skating at Vilas Park. The lake in winter expands the available area for recreation, including ice fishing. To step onto its frozen surface is to enter another world and see Wingra from a new perspective.

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