Update September 17, 2019:  The Sylvan Bike Trail System will be closed until further notice due to saturated ground and wet and muddy trail conditions. The trail system is just not drying out after last weeks rain events and with the additional rain forecast for later this week, officials have decided to close the trails.

Update September 16, 2019:  All horse trails will be closed to the public on Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21 to allow for the set-up, race event and clean-up of the annual Punke Trail Run.  All trails will open back up on Sunday, September 22.

The Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department is beginning the process of updating its Fifteen-Year Forest Plan which will guide the management of our 30,195-acre Marathon County Forest from 2021 – 2035. Please help us with this important process. We want to hear from you about issues to address with plan revisions.

Natural resources, such as those represented by the Marathon County Forest, are the base for satisfying the ecological and socioeconomic needs of present and future generations. The mission of the County Forest is to manage and protect these resources on a sustainable basis.

County Forest resources should be protected from catastrophes such as insect and disease outbreaks and fire, and from threats such as encroachment, over-utilization, environmental degradation, and excessive development. While managing for environmental needs, including watershed protection, protection of rare plant and animal communities, and biological diversity, these same resources must be managed for socioeconomic needs such as recreational opportunities and the production of raw materials for wood-using industries.

We can balance local needs with broader concerns by integrating sustainable forestry, wildlife, fisheries, endangered resources, water quality, soil, and recreational recommendations and practices.

Your input is important. Please take the time to give us your initial comments by completing and submitting the online response sheet by September 25, 2019. Below is the link to the online response sheet.

County Forest On-line Response Sheet

Questions can be directed to:

Tom Lovlien
Marathon County Forest Administrator
Phone 715.261.1550
e-mail: Tom.lovlien@co.marathon.wi.us


Update April 19, 2019:  Thanks to all who took our Park and Recreation Survey.  We will process the results and make them available soon.

Click the thumbnail to the right for more information on an April 30, public meeting to talk about the future of Parks and Recreation in Marathon County!


Start your Spring out with this excellent healthy recreation opportunity!

Learn more about this program and register here Today!

Active Family Challenge Logo




Adaptively manage our park and forest lands for natural resource sustainability while providing healthy recreational opportunities and unique experiences making Marathon County the preferred place to live, work, and play.


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 2019 season can be made on-line here.

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.