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Cherokee Marsh : Yahara Heights unit

Yahara Heights Unit of Cherokee Marsh

Cherokee Marsh comprises 385 acres in five sections along Cherokee Marsh.  The Yahara Heights Section is a 40 acres located on the north shore of the Marsh and next to a 20-acre pet exercise park.  Cherokee Marsh, the largest remaining wetland in Dane County and the major wetland in Lake Mendota's Watershed. Yahara Heights Park consists of over 3,000 feet of water frontage within the upper Yahara basin, providing a wildlife habitat preserve, fish spawning grounds, and a water sedimentation area for Lake Mendota. The park contains a 20-acre pet exercise area and a canoe and kayak launch.

Enjoy great views of the Yahara River and Cherokee Marsh wetlands from high ground. See effigy mounds and nesting Bald Eagles.

The Walk

This rolling hill walk in the woods, above marsh levels, is on newly developed trails.  The County has cleared most of the understory so that the walk is mostly under canopy.  Bald Eagles and Woodpeckers nesting nearby. 

Trail Conditions Accessibility 

The new trails may be rough but dry underfoot as the walk  stays above Marsh levels. 

Driving and Parking Instructions

Cherokee Marsh: Yahara Heights Park

Heading north from Madison on HWY 113/Northport Dr., 1/3 mile past HWY M, at the stoplights, turn RIGHT onto River Rd., then IMMEDIATE RIGHT onto Catfish Ct.

You will see a trailhead sign on your left. Park in the small off-road parking area near the sign. 

The address for navigating is Catfish Ct, Waunakee, WI 53597

    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 provide, drop me a line.

    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.  Remember that both State Parks and City Parks are not available to the public.

    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:

    for more information, contact us at:


    6209 Mineral Point Road #203
    Madison, WI 53705

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