Five Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Madison During the CrossFit Games

July 17, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Instagram @cityofmadison
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

Madison, WI, is one of the best cities for outdoor activities – part of the reason The CrossFit Games have made their home there for five, going on six years. Whatever your outdoor activity of choice, Madison has all the options – here are some of the best!

  1. Take a hike

There are tons of hiking options both in Madison and just out of town, ready to be explored. With an average temperature of around 80 degrees in August, the weather is perfect for exploring the region.

  •  The UW-Madison Arboretum has a scenic route that loops around Lake Wingra through Vilas Park, and there are several walking trails along the shore of Lake Mendota. 
  • If you want to explore further outside the city, there is Devil’s Lake State Park, Sugar River State Trail, and Glacial Drumlin State Trail.
  • The City of Madison has a list of the best hikes to enjoy!
  1. Ride a Bike 

Want to ride your bicycle? With over 200 miles of biking trails, Madison has many great places to cruise! 

  • The Lake Monona Loop is a 12-mile loop around Lake Monona. On the ride, you will see Olbrich Gardens, Monona Terrace, and Olin Park. You can also stop at Yahara Place Park or BB Clarke Beach. 
  • If you want a longer ride, check out the Badger State Cycling Trail, which could take you all the way to Illinois if you want!
  • If you’re riding in the city proper, check out State Street, in the heart of downtown— no cars allowed!

If you don’t have your own set of wheels, there are plenty of places around the city where you can rent one.

  1. Hit the Links
Photo Credit: @uridgegolf

Madison is brimming with choices for the golf enthusiasts out there. 

  • University Ridge: opened in 1991 and is the home to the UW-Madison golf teams. This scenic course offers something for every level of player and has fantastic views.
  • City Courses: there are four amazing public golf courses for visitors and residents; Glenway, Monona, Odana Hills, and Yahara Hills.
  • And more: The city also boasts resort courses as well as several disc golf courses.
  1. Enjoy the Water

If exploring the city via the water is more your speed, you are in luck. Madison is home to five incredibly beautiful lakes where you can fish, boat, swim, or sail. 

  • Lake Mendota is one of the larger lakes, and it has multiple beaches and parks, and in total, Madison has 12 beaches where you can enjoy swimming.
  • Boating is big in Madison, and you can get info about lake access permits here
  • If you want to rent a boat, check out the Capitol Boat Club! They offer memberships, non-member pontoon and speed boat rentals, and captained charters.
  • Looking for other kinds of boats? For canoes, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and more, check out Olbrich Park Boat Rentals or Madison Boats.
  1. Other Options:

A great spot to watch the boats come in and to relax with a picnic. The park has a small beach, a pier, and an ice skating rink. 

This “birthplace of ecological restoration” works to educate the public and involve the community in conservation and related research. There are over 1,200 acres to explore, as well as multiple native plant gardens and over 20 miles of walking trails. Plus, admission is free!

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.