About Edna Taylor Conservation Park
A glacial drumlin rising above a broad ribbon of marsh forms the backbone of this southeast Madison Park. On-going projects are oak savanna and wetland restorations. Nearby Glendale School and Leopold Nature Center use the park extensively for environmental education.
Conservation Parks are uniquely managed to further protect native species and wildlife. The following rules apply to all conservation designated parks.
Tucked off Monona Drive and Femrite Drive, Edna Taylor Conservation Park offers three out-and-back hiking loops, a spring, marsh habitat, a glacial drumlin, oak stands, nature viewing platforms, and a Native American effigy mound. The area incorporates a little more than 3 miles of trails; the scenery is comprised of wetlands, willows, oak forest, ponds, savanna, and a handsome assortment of wildflowers. At the corner of the parking lot a large memorial stone dedicated to Edna Taylor denotes the trail’s beginnings.
The trail starts in high grass and marshland, and is easy to follow and well-maintained throughout. Birders will have exciting field days watching Canadian geese, cranes, herons, and mallards. Redwing and tricolor birds are abundant in the marshy ponds, and the surrounding shrubbery is especially comely in the fall. Observation platforms at the edge of the ponds are great for spotting water fowl. It’s common in the springtime to spy tiny Canada geese chicks and tadpoles. On the east side of the park are six linear Indian effigy mounds and one panther-shaped mound, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
About Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona Campus
Edna Taylor Conservation Park abuts the equally enjoyable Aldo Leopold Nature Center Park; wedged in the thickness of evergreens, a sign denotes the change of parks. Trail traffic is generally pretty light, and the park is open 4 a.m. to 1 hour before sunset. Restrooms and water not available at the park..
The ALND building is closed during the Pandemic (worth a visit when open) but the property and trails are open.
Plan to return when the building is open: The ALND with access to their interactive theaters, digital touchscreen curriculum, renewable energy displays, and hands-on Leopold Family Phenology Center. along with their lobby Nature Nooks and outdoor interpretive trails. They continue to integrate age-appropriate climate change education across all programming to help children and adults understand these impacts, how their actions affect the environment, and how they can enact solutions to ecological challenges
Edna Taylor Conservation Park Directions
From the Beltline Highway (US 12/18), drive north on Monona Drive 0.6 miles and make a right onto Femrite Drive. The parking lot for Edna Taylor is on the left about 0.4 miles from Monona Drive. To the right of the parking is the easily identifiable trailhead.
Comments or questions about the walks?