Goodspeed Family Pier

Goodspeed Pier Hours

Currently closed for the season.
The pier is available for use mid-May through mid-October, weather dependent.

Arriving at Alumni Park from Lake Mendota?

Brought to the Lake Mendota shore by the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the Goodspeed Family Pier opened in 2013 to enable boat-access and welcome the community to the UW-Madison campus. Named in honor of Mary Sue Goodspeed Shannon ’81 and her family, the pier features:

  • Dock space for up to 17 watercraft
  • More than 330 linear feet of boardwalk
  • Environmentally sustainable construction
  • Improved water flow for the UW lakeshore

For Your Safety

WAA is grateful for everything the UW does to ensure swimmers’ safety. But the Goodspeed Family Pier is designed for motorboat, sailboat, and paddlecraft access and docking. For the safety of all, no swimming or diving is permitted near the pier. In addition, no biking or skateboarding is allowed on the pier.

WAA is not responsible for personal injury or damage to or theft of boats or other property. Use of the pier is at your own risk.

Security cameras are in use. Limit docking to two hours. No overnight docking. No carry-in alcohol, sound amplification, or commercial activity. No animals and no smoking.

By The Numbers

2,011 Linear feet of stone salvaged from the previous shoreline for reuse. (Some 461 tons of stone were too damaged.)

787 Linear feet of shoreline that were restored during this project

Facts about the Goodspeed Family Pier

The pier is made of massaranduba wood.

And the accent is on the u: mass-uh-ran-DOO-buh. Known taxonomically as Manilkara bidentata, the massaranduba is a tree native to Central and South America. Its sap is used to make high-quality golf balls, which is neither here nor there, but its reddish wood is extremely hard and dense. (It’s also sometimes called bulletwood.) That means it should hold up for a long time.

Each piling is capped with a cone to deflect ice.

When the lake freezes (as it does every winter), the cones change the direction of the force of the ice to make certain that it doesn’t crush the pilings. That would be bad, as it would make the permanent pier considerably less permanent.