MADISON, WI – Aug 13, 2021 – This fall, Dane County Parks and park Friends groups have several unique running events to get your heart pumping while soaking in the scenery at our beautiful county parks. No matter what type of race you are looking for, there is sure to be one that fits your needs. Race registration fees will help support park maintenance and educational activities so the benefits of participating will extend far beyond your physical health.

“Dane County’s parks are a community treasure that allow residents and visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “These upcoming events support the work staff and volunteers are doing to ensure our outdoor spaces and natural resources can be enjoyed year after year.”

Donald Dash – Saturday, September 11
Join Friends of Donald Park at their 9th annual trail run at Donald County Park just southeast of Mt. Horeb. The race course will consist of a 5km and a 15km option traveling through prairies, woods, and over all types of terrain. There will be some post-race festivities and snacks and you can stick around and explore the 775-acre park which contains oak woods, intriguing rock outcroppings, scenic vistas and natural springs. Registration is $40 and 100% of proceeds go to Friends of Donald Park for trail repair and maintenance.

Learn more and register at:

Indian Lake Trail Run – Saturday, October 2
Traversing prairie, woodlands, sedge meadows, and newly restored oak savanna, the Trail Run at Indian Lake has it all – including plenty of hills! Join the Friends of Indian Lake for a long (~12km) or short (~7km) course in a celebration of fall, trail running, community, and public lands. There will be an after party featuring The Currach Irish Trio along with food, beverages, and a raffle. 100% of the proceeds will support the Friends of Indian Lake and be used for trail maintenance, infrastructure enhancements, and habitat restoration.

Learn more and register at

Monster Dash – Friday, October 15
Dane County Parks is hosting a spook-tacular Monster Dash at their Lussier Family Heritage Center facility! Participate in a sunset for a 5k run, walk, or roll along the Lower Yahara River Trail and through the haunted prairie and forest. CAUTION! Monsters may be lurking along the trail. If you survive, your reward will be a bonfire with s’mores, and beverages and food available for purchase. Once the sun sets, you can snuggle up and get cozy for an outdoor movie screening of Beetlejuice. Costumes are heavily encouraged! Early bird registration is $20 per person before September 1st. Registration fees help support youth education and outdoor recreation programs.

Learn more and register at

In addition to the runs sponsored by Dane County Parks and our Friends groups, there are many other trail runs and bicycle races organized by other local non-profits that use Dane County Parks. Check out our online event calendar to find other opportunities this fall and throughout the year:

About Dane County Parks

Dane County Parks offers a variety of recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast and natural environments for quiet getaways or special events.  Dane County Parks takes an active role to enhance and preserve the county’s finest natural resources.

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