Walking Governor's Island in Madison WI

Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin
Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin

Governor's Island is a 60-acre green space in Madison's Lake Mendota. A 3/4 mile easy and paved walking path circumnavigates the island. The Island is reached via a man-made land bridge from Mendota Mental Health Institute on Madison's north side. This space is a popular fishing and kayaking location. It's one of Madison's hidden gems.



Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin
Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin



Governor's Island was owned by Governor Leonard J Farwell until 1858 when the island and adjacent land was donated to the state by the Governor to be used as the first State Hospital for the Insane. Today the woodland lake frontage land hosts Mendota Mental Health Institute. Governor's Island was connected to this property in the 1860's by a causeway to allow access for recreation and walking. A paved asphalt path was laid in a circle around the island.

The high rocky bluffs of the island make for panoramic scenic vistas and excellent fishing. The deep waters beneath these cliffs are said to be the best walleye shore fishing on Lake Mendota. The path leads down closer to the water at the remnants of an old beach, an area still very much swimmable today.

These days this public green space is mostly used for walking dogs. It is also an official Mendota public access boat launch ... carry in. The rocky bluffs of the island make scenic delights for kayakers.

Walkers are also free to roam the grounds of the Mendota Mental Health Institute where they can view excellent effigy mounds including a 634-foot bird mound, two panther mounds, two bear, and a deer mound.

Though Governor's Island has long been known on the north side of Madison as an excellent place to walk by the lake it remains a hidden gem in Madison, unknown and unexplored by most.


Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin
Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin


Governor's Island Loop Trail


COUNTY: Dane
COMMUNITIES: Madison

TOTAL MILES: .75 mile loop
DIFFICULTY: Very Easy




Directions and Trail Map


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Address for your GPS: 1 Governors Island Pkwy Madison, WI 53704
| coordinates:43.126472, -89.400304 |

From Milwaukee1.5 Hours
From Madisonn/a
From Green Bay2.5 Hours
From Wausau2.5 Hours
From Minneapolis4 Hours
From Chicago2.5 Hours



Photos


Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin
Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin

Cottonwood Tree at Governor's Island in Madison WI
Cottonwood Tree at Governor's Island in Madison WI

Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin


Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin
Governor's Island in Madison Wisconsin