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abundant recreation

The Jefferson County area's outdoor living is designed to reconnect people to the land through recreation, conservation and tourism. With some of the nation's premiere biking, hiking, kayaking and canoing, fishing, camping, and winter sports, our county has it all. Come explore...your adventure awaits.

Glacial Heritage Area

By using a “strings and pearls” approach, Glacial Heritage Area aims to increase the diversity of recreation opportunities, which includes hiking, biking, wildlife watching, camping, horse riding, hunting, fishing and other activities where people live and work.  There are four main focus areas: Conservation Parks; Linking Trails; River- based Conservation Area; and Wildlife Areas.

Glacial Heritage Area (GHA) has identified a desire to increasingly engage the private sector in a coordinated manner to 1) grow local businesses as aligned with tourism and economic development efforts, 2) have local businesses take ownership in a county-wide marketing brand and its deployment, and 3) have the private sector invest in the development of the area's outdoor recreation tourism infrastructure.

The Glacial Heritage Area is uniquely situated between Madison and Milwaukee - within 50 miles (about a one-hour drive) of approximately half the state’s population. The current demand for nature-based activities is already high and continues to increase. Wisconsin’s population is increasingly urban and suburban and is looking for readily accessible places to hike, bike, fish, watch wildlife, camp, hunt, ride horses, cross country ski and other outdoor activities.

For more information on this project, locations and activities offered within the Glacial Heritage Area, go to The organization can also be contacted at Department of Natural Resources at or 608-275-3320 or with the Jefferson County Parks at 920-674-7260.

National Waterway

The Rock River Trail was established in 2010 to promote recreational use of all 320 miles of the Rock River. Preservation, restoration & appreciation of the natural & historic attributes of the Rock River are the goal of this non-profit organization. The Rock River Trail Initiative is to establish and support a Rock River Water Trail along the 320-mile river course from the headwaters in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, to the Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois, and a separate Rock River Scenic and Historic Route. For more information, click here.

County park system

The Jefferson County Parks Department’s purpose is to preserve natural resources for public use and conservation, to operate a parks system with resource-oriented recreation, trails (including bicycling) and special use parks; and to expand the parks system for environmental and land use benefits and the health and enjoyment of its residents and visitors. This growing system of large parks, extensive trails and natural areas give form to Jefferson County communities and rural landscape. The Jefferson County Parks System is fundamental in creating special places to live, vital and distinctive communities and working farms. The parks system provides multiple recreation facilities for all ages and abilities in a way that balances recreation and conservation values.