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).

The Spring, 2018 Turkey Hunt runs from April 14 to May 29, 2018.  For safety, wear blaze orange clothing while in any park or forest unit adjacent to private land or when recreating in any County Forest where hunting is allowed.


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.

Campsite reservations for the 2018 season can be made on-line here.

Update April 18, 2018:  Slow Start to Spring Brings Delays
Record snowfalls and unusually low temperatures have slowed the arrival of spring in Marathon County. The late arrival of spring may also delay the opening of several popular recreation facilities. Many outdoor venues can be seriously damaged and may not fully recover for the entire season if use occurs in cold or wet conditions.  Park and Forestry patrons should pay close attention to posted opening dates for facilities, and avoid use of these facilities until officially opened by the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department. Recreation opportunities and facilities that will be potentially affected include: mountain biking, horseback riding, ATV trails, baseball and soccer fields, boat launches, and disc golf. Other delays may also occur in the startup of park water systems, restrooms, and spring cleanup. If you have any questions regarding the opening dates of park facilities please contact the Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department at 715-261-1550, or review the website at  The website will be updated periodically as park officials determine firm opening dates of facilities.

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

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

2018 Spring/Summer Recreation Guide

Wausau/Central Wisconsin Official Visitors Magazine

Fee Directive


Core Values Examples