About the Park

Located on Madison's near west side, the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association and the City of Madison acquired and developed Hoyt Park and Owen Parkway between 1894 and the 1950's to provide a variety of recreational opportunities. Stone fireplaces and shelters built in the 1930's by the Works Progress Administration attracted even more Madisonians because of the unique setting and construction.

Madison was a smaller community then and outdoor recreation activities were different than they are today. Facilities at Hoyt Park, which served the entire community, were the Pleasure Drive along Owen Parkway with views of the undeveloped countryside to the west, picnic areas at two shelters and scattered throughout the oak woods, Madison's only ski jump, and one of two city toboggan slides.

As the city grew in size and population, the City developed larger community parks that are more suited to intensive recreation and large gatherings. Larger conservation parks now provide higher quality natural areas for community use. The City reclassified Hoyt Park as an area park, intended to serve the local park needs of the surrounding neighborhoods within a half-mile radius.

Hoyt Park continues to provide several unique features and facilities that are of interest to the larger community. Owen Parkway, Hoyt Park; the 1930's stone structures are significant elements of the history of Madison's park system; and the picnic shelters of Hoyt continue to be very popular because of their unique setting and construction.

Reserve a shelter from the City of Madison Parks.

Ski jumping in the 60's

Park Trivia

Take this Hoyt Park trivia quiz.

  1. What kind of rock is the main shelter made of?
  2. What kind of tree is on the Southwest side of the main shelter?
  3. There is a small stone structure between the main shelter and the path along the road. What was it used for?
  4. What is Hoyt Park's address?
  5. How many freestanding stone fireplaces are there?
  6. When was Hoyt School built?
  7. How many steps down to the west end of the quarry?
  8. Name 2 flowers planted in the prairie.
  9. Who is the playground at Hoyt School named after?
  10. What were the names of Frank and Mary Hoyt's children?
  11. What hours are the park open?
  12. How many steps up to the overlook?
  13. What were the names of Professor Edward Owen's daughters?
  14. What kind of rock is found in the quarry and how old is it?
  15. Name 5 kinds of trees in the park.

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WPA workers in the 1930's.
The active quarry.
Sunset Point
Sunset Point in the 1930's
Catherine Murray Picnic
Catherine Murray Picnic with Friends