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).

Update May 5, 2017 - Nine Mile County Forest mountain-bike trails will open at noon on Sunday, May 7, 2017. Bikers please be aware that some trails will be closed with snow fence due to extremely wet condtions. Trails will open at noon daily until the end of turkey hunting season - May 30th. Nine Mile County Forest horse trails will open Saturday, May 6, 2017. Please stay on designated horse trails. The Burma County Forest and the Edgar-Fenwood ATV/UTV trails will open Saturday, May 6, 2017. The Burma trails will be open between 6am and 10pm each day through September 30. Motorcycles and dirt bikes are prohibited on all these trails. Please stay on designated trails or they may close.

Camping in 2017  As of Monday, January 9, 2017 you are able to make camping reservations on-line, over the phone, or at the Park Office for the 2017 camping season.  Here is a link to additional camping information related to the four campgrounds this department manages.

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.

Swim Lessons and Tennis Lesson Registrations:  As of Monday, May 1, 2017 you are able to make on-line reservations for Swim Lessons and Tennis Lessons

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/holiday contact phone is 715-581-3499
Fax: 715-261-1565
E-mail: Contact Us

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

2017 Spring/Summer Recreation Guide

Wausau/Central Wisconsin Official Visitors Magazine

Fee Directive


Core Values Examples