Why to visit Madison’s Tenney Park in the Winter (A Photo Essay)


Crisp. Blue. Clear.

It had been three months since I’d returned from my West Coast Adventure. Three months of Not Moving, embracing the strangeness of being stationary.

And then, I found myself ready to explore once more. I had regained a kind of balance about being in Wisconsin; and so I set out, eventually finding myself staring at overpriced fossils through shop windows, admiring crude wood carvings, and being surrounded by that particular shade of horrendous gray that the streets can only achieve in the depths of winter.

None of what I saw was photo-worthy… except Tenney Park.

It had been nearly two years since my last visit to the Tenney Locks, and the wind had sculpted the snow around its protracted pier into an otherworldly landscape.

Obviously, Tenney Park wasn’t as welcoming in the winter. You wouldn’t want to have a picnic or do a cycling trek. To say it was freezing is putting it mildly.

But if you’re someone who loves photography, you’d be wise to stop by. People setup tents on the lake, and (depending on the time) the park’s relative desolation provides a rare photographic opportunity.

Oh, and there’s duckies.

Blue Sky behind Wooden Bench

People with Tents out on Lake Mendota

Wind-sculpted glistening snow

Tenney Locks in the winter

Snowy Tenney Park bridge


All accompanying photos are in the Tenney Park Winter photo gallery. With so much free, high-quality content, why not tell a friend and share this article?





4 bits on Why to visit Madison’s Tenney Park in the Winter (A Photo Essay)

  1. The photos are so cute. I actually love photography and a tour to Tenney Park someday will be an awesome adventure for me. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

  2. Great pics, definitely somewhere that I will have to look into visiting. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Spectacular views. I think you have done a great job of taking those crisp images of Tenney Park. It certainly would be hard doing a picnic over there.

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