Parks, Recreation, and Forestry

Parks, Recreation, and Forestry


To provide a park and forest recreation system that will meet the needs of our current and future generations, preserve and protect the County’s open space, water, historical, cultural, and natural resources; and provide recreation opportunities that are designed to enhance the County’s quality of life.

(County Forest Mission Statement: To manage and protect County forest resources on a sustainable basis for ecological, economic, educational, recreational, and research needs of present and future generations).

Camping Update September 26, 2017:
  Beginning Monday, October 2, firewood at Dells of the Eau Claire Park will be available only on a self-service basis at the woodshed within the campground.  Park staff will keep the rack outside the woodshed stocked.  Also beginning October 2, at Big Eau Pleine Park, firewood will be sold by the park manager Monday through Friday at 6:00 PM only, and Saturday and Sunday at both 1:00 and 6:00 pm. 

GENERAL INFORMATION: October 1 - 31, camping is available on a self-registration basis only at all four campgrounds.  Camping closes for the season on October 31.  No guarantee to have running water, or sewer service (dump station) after October 22 annually to ensure Park Operations has sufficient time to winterize park facilities that are subject to potential damage from freezing weather and to provide accurate information and consistent service to the public.

Shelter Reservations:  Approximately 20 different shelters may be reserved on-line up to 360 days in advance of your event date.  All shelters may be reserved 365 days in advance if you make your reservation in person at the Park Office or call us on the phone.  Here is the link to reserve Shelters on-line.

The Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department operates two separate park systems, and a County Forestry system each with its own facilities, objectives, and budgets.
The Marathon County park system is based on large parks that typically focus upon a high quality natural feature and provide limited areas of development that support low intensity recreation uses, such as picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming, and camping. These parks serve large areas of the county. The county park system also provides specialized facilities that serve the entire county or major populations within the county, such as the fairgrounds, shooting range, softball complex, and indoor ice skating.

The City of Wausau park system is based on small neighborhood parks and play fields whose purpose is to serve nearby residents. Other park types include: community parks for large gatherings and events; specialized athletic and recreation facilities, such as swimming pools, a snow tubing hill with a 1000 foot run, outdoor ice skating rinks, and ball diamonds; and small urban garden type parks that provide many of the aesthetically pleasing urban green spaces that help define Wausau's character.

In conjunction with its park system, Wausau offers a recreation program that provides swimming and a youth playground program in the summer and snow tubing and outdoor iceskating in the winter. Indirectly, Wausau's recreation program facilitates the operation of numerous sports leagues and recreation activities through the provision of facilities, technical assistance, and other coordinating activities.

The Wausau and Marathon County park systems provide distinctly different, yet complementary, facilities and recreation opportunities. The specialized knowledge, skills, and equipment necessary to effectively operate the two systems have been successfully provided by a single workforce and management team since 1924.

The Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department provides facilities and programs that are accessible to all individuals. For more specific information on facility and program accessibility, you may write or call the Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, 212 River Drive, Suite 2, Wausau, WI 54403-5476, (715) 261-1550.


William Duncanson

Director: William L. Duncanson
Phone: 715-261-1550 Monday through Friday 8am to 4:30pm.  Evening and weekend contact phone is 715-870-1592
Fax: 715-261-1565
E-mail: Contact Us

Address: Map
212 River Drive, Suite #2
Wausau WI 54403-5476

2017-2018  Fall/Winter Recreation Guide

Wausau/Central Wisconsin Official Visitors Magazine

Fee Directive


Core Values Examples