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Donald Park: Woods, hills and farmstead

Donald Park Description:

Donald County Park is a 775-acre park located southeast of Mt. Horeb off Highway 92, just west of Mt. Vernon. The park contains oak woods, intriguing rock outcroppings with scenic vistas and springs. The park is also known for its hiking & equestrian trails and three trout streams; Deer Creek, Frye Feeder and Mt. Vernon Creek.

Created through the joint efforts of Dane County Parks, The Friends of Donald County Park, community volunteers and willing land owners keep the trails are well-marked and groomed hiking, multi-use and interpretive  trails.

The Walk

We will walk in both prairies and woods  There are a couple of relatively steep sections but not overly long.  We could have a couple of extra short hikes for those in the group that want to peel off and do more (in 2017, everyone ended up doing everything).  Fun things we will see include: bluebirds, early prairie flowers, beautiful rock outcroppings w/ ferns and lichens, historic farmsteads (the home sites of both park founding families), a sinkhole and clear, cold streams typical of the Driftless Area.

Length of Walk

The 775 acre park is large enough to choose multiple 3 or 4 mile walks.  Depending on time available, you can create your own walk to fit your day.  There are trail maps on the kiosk near the parking lot.

Multi-Use Paths

The park paths are shared by both people and horses.  Please stand aside while horses pass.  Equestrian paths are only on the widest park paths.


A three to four mile walk along rough hillside paths. This walk is not fit for those concerned  with mobility challenges.

Driving and Parking Information:

Donald County Park is located in Dane County just 15 miles southwest of Madison. It is situated south of Highway 92 between Mount Horeb and Mount Vernon.

The trail Head is at:

Sutter Road entrance Parking Lot

State Highway 92

Mt. Horeb, WI 53572

Get Directions

 Additional Informatioin during this time of Covid-19 pandemic:

Please visit the Friends of Donald Park website for more park information.


Restrooms are not available

Picnic Tables are available near the parking area

Comments or questions about the walks?

This self-guided walk was developed from a list of successful docent-led walks Carla and I and other faithful volunteers have conducted over the last four years.  I will be adding more to the list as the pandemic continues to keep us isolated.  Building these self-guided walk is very much a "work in progress".  If you have ideas for improving communications about the walks or additional information I could provide, please let me know.

If you have a favorite walk please drop a note and I'll get back to you shortly.  Please mark the subject line of the email "PLATO Walks" so that I can get to them quickly.

Mike DiIorio at or text me at 608 520 4448.

I hope you enjoy the walks. Stay healthy, stay safe.

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported in part by:

Facebook: @platomadison


6209 Mineral Point Road #203
Madison, WI 53705

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