Dorothy Carnes Park, located north of Highway 12 west of Fort Atkinson, is a nature-based, 514 acre conservation park. You will find 198 acres of prairie, 108 acres of Oak Savanah, 76 acres of agricultural land and 90 acres of wetland. The park is surrounds Rose Lake marsh, one of the most diverse bird areas in the county. 480 of the 514 acres is also designated as the Rose Lake State Natural Area, due to its outstanding examples of native natural communities, significant geological formations and archaeological sites.
The park is used for hiking and cross country skiing, snow shoeing, nature study, bird watching, picnicking, dog walking, etc.
The entrance to Dorothy Carnes Park West is located on Radloff Lane just off Hwy 12. This portion of the park features a rentable shelter, bathrooms, water, kiosk, parking and an observation deck overlooking Rose Lake. The shelter and a packed limestone trail leading to an overlook of the marsh are ADA accessible. The main trails are woodchip and mowed grass. You will also encounter a Turtle Effigy mound as you hike the trails on this side of the lake.
The entrance to Dorothy Carnes Park East is located on Jones Lane just off of Banker Road, north of Fort Atkinson. At the entrance, visitors will notice a log cabin restoration project in progress along with multiple farmstead buildings. Hearty Gardens, a community garden, makes its home here. Visitors will find beautiful, groomed trails with restroom facilities.
In 2011, a 120-acre addition on the north side of Rose Lake was added to the park. These acres are currently under development.