Mazo Beach

[NOTE:  2016 to present, the DNR has CLOSED all access to the beach and most of the surrounding area.]

This beach ranks among the finest natural nudist/naturist locations in North America.  And you need not have any fear of arrest for mere nudity as long as your actions are not illegal.

Mazo Beach is located in southern Wisconsin between Mazomanie and Sauk City on the beautiful Wisconsin River.  It is public land and open to all, and the long-time summer home to the Badger Naturists group.

The beach has a decades-long history as a place where folks who enjoy nature au-naturel can do so safely and without legal complications.  Full nudity is acceptable and the norm.

Mazo Beach is clothing optional, though almost everyone is nude.  If you’re new, or not quite ready, feel free to stay covered to the point of comfort.  You won’t be alone.  There is no pressure here, just the opportunity to be as comfortable as you wish as long as you allow others the same freedom.  This is a safe place.  Harassment of any type is not tolerated.

Nudity is  not illegalbeach 1 200x152technically, on most public land in Wisconsin but in reality, that’s not exactly the case.  There’s always some other law that can be invoked by those that have a problem with naturists.

However, at Mazo we have spent many years working out an understanding with public officials so that as long as we self-police activities, stay within an approved area, and keep the beach clean and safe, they accept our being there. The DNR does patrol the area, are welcome, and will answer any questions you may have.  This is a beautiful and unique location and well worth taking care of.

When you arrive at the parking lot, expect a 1.2 mile walk down a gravel road (often accompanied by mosquitos) to reach the beach.  Bicycles are great, but no motor vehicles are allowed unless you have a DNR issued handicapped access permit.  Do NOT leave the road or enter the woods.  There is a large fine for doing so.  At the end of the road is another parking lot (handicap only) and porta-potties.  You can park and chain your bikes there.  Just past that is the beach.  Do NOT disrobe before being on the beach proper.

There is no drinking water source or waste container at the beach.  Take out what you bring in.  No glass (Law, BIG fine.  Eyeglasses ok.).  Please don’t put your butts (cig, that is) in the sand.  Human butts are just fine!

There is no overnight camping within a mile stretch up and a mile stretch down from the beach.  Further away you can if you arrive by watercraft, but the Wisconsin is a killer and you should know what you’re doing.  Really, this river kills someone every year.

Nearby campground: Cedar Hills.  Just a few miles away, biking distance if you’re so inclined.  High on a ridge, beautiful views.  Naturist-friendly, but NOT a nudist campground.  Ice and firewood available for purchase at the camground.

The river near the beach is not deep and has sandbar-sheltered areas ideal for kids, but do watch them!  It cannot be stated too often that this river is a killer.  The bottom changes constantly, with drop-offs and snags underwater.  Never trust it!

That said, the river along the beach is generally gentle and well behaved.  It’s sometimes physically possible to walk all the way across the river with no problem, but don’t.

Do not cross the river nude (different county), and the island and sandbar are also off limits though you will see people on them.  We do not need to cause problems with the local authorities – Plus, you might be arrested.

Want to meet some Friends of Mazo Beach or Badger Naturists?

A majority of people on the beach are generally Friends of Mazo Beach and you will find them scattered throughout the beach.  The best place to get accurate beach information is from the people manning the blue “Friends of Mazo Beach” umbrella.  The umbrella’s position on the beach varies, but is easy to spot.  They also take care of lost and found, first aid, etc and are a wealth of information about Naturism both near and far.  They can bring you up to date on what’s up and will be glad to meet you.  Good people.  Don’t forget to fill out a current beach survey so you can be part of FOMB and receive the latest info about the beach as well as invitations to other events and parties.  (Or you can fill out a survey here online.)

You can usually find some  Badger Naturists near the FOMB umbrella and also scattered at other locations throughout the beach.  They will gladly share with you what the group is about, and tell you of activities offered – especially during the off season when it’s too cold to come to the beach.

Think you’re pretty good at volleyball?  There’s usually some serious games going on all weekend.

Who should you expect to see?  The same people you see on the street.  Couples, singles, gays, old, young, kids, fat, skinny, buff.  Quite a mix.  Don’t expect a Playboy pictorial.  We’re mostly common midwestern folks (who like our brats and cheese.)

Behavior:  You will be expected to behave just as you would at any other public beach.  If you don’t, someone will likely correct you or a Ranger will arrest you.  Tanning oil is for tanning, not for fun.  Nudity is for fun, not  sex on the beach.   ‘Nuff said?

Cameras are in general not appreciated.  When pictures are taken, it is usually among friends.  If you wish to take a picture be sure to get permission, and make sure there are no identifiable people in the background.


If you are concerned about stories you’ve heard about ‘religious’ zealots harassing beachgoers, don’t be.  They haven’t been seen for years.  Seems they have some legal and moral issues of their own to deal with…  Click  HERE for more info about that bunch of, ah, interesting folks.

Beach hours are 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturdays and Sundays only.  Enforced.

Come and have a good time.   Tell your friends, fill out this year’s survey and get on the Friends of Mazo Beach database to keep up with the latest info and get invited to great events, consider joining Badger Naturists for year-round nudist/naturist gatherings and events.  You can even join The Naturist Society thru Friends of Mazo Beach or Badger Naturists at a discount!

Map image

Mazo Beach:  Click to view and navigate.

See also: Handicap Access to Mazo Beach  Nude Wisconsin


From Madison: Hwy 12 north to Cty Y, left (west) to 2nd Laws Drive, right, short to Conservation Rd (gravel, left).  At parking lot walk (or bike, no motors) 1 mile to handicap lot and beach.  Do not disrobe before beach! No no no, busted! 

From La Cross, Hwy 14 south to Mazomanie, Hwy Y, east to Laws Drive then follow above directions.

From Sauk City direction, south on Hwy12 then follow ‘from Madison’ directions.

Note:  This article courtesy of ‘Nude Wisconsin’ and does not necessarily represent the views of FOMB. 

49 Responses

  1. i’m looking for safe nude beaches in the u.s. i have 2 children who like me like to go skinny dippin once in awhile.i drive truck and travel alot.and like to unwind

  2. Suggest you check out Nude Beaches Yes! on the blogroll. The site is administered by TNS and gives good info.

    Our FOMB site is a mainly political action group, not a link to social organizations.

    Mazo Beach is extremely family friendly, and we mean to keep it that way.

    Beware of ‘naturist’ websites with a lot of pics of pretty naked women.

    The Naturist Society and AANR are the top, official national nudist/naturist organizations in America. You can trust them.

    For good Wisconsin nudist info go to Nude Wisconsin or All Nudist, both on the blogroll. Badger Naturists are Mazo Beach’s main group.

    Good luck!!

  3. I am so glad to have found this website. Kudos to whoever wrote the intro. It is well done.

    I have been going to the beach for about 10 years and have always had positive experiences. My wife does not like exposing herself and does not like sand, but she is OK with me going on my own. I read. I walk. I soak up the sun. It is the most glorious time.

    I have not witnessed any of the zealots, thank God. I have seen some bad behavior I have pointed out. This is truly a self regulating group. I have been pleased at the number of young families who use the beach. What a great place to learn that although all men and women are not created equal in a physical sense, they are all beautiful.

    Rock on, Badger Naturists.

    From Madison.

  4. Welcome aboard! Thanks for visiting. Share this website with your friends and we can, maybe, keep moving mountains!

  5. Came for the first time today and had the best time I’ve had all summer. First time at a nude beach too. Such a beautiful place and a liberating experience for sure. Great scenery and the water was perfect!

    Everyone is extremely nice and respectful. I can’t wait to come back again.

  6. I used to live in San Antonio, and we used to go up to Austin to visit hippie hollow, but we could never bring our kids along (they are just tots). Are there any age restrictions at this beach? Just wondering – it’d be nice to be able to go to the beach with the whole family.

  7. Hi Jimmy!

    No age restrictions, no restrictions other than beach hours, no glass, and behaviour.

    This is public land open to nudists or anyone who wishes to go there. Almost everyone is nude.

    Kids are welcome and are often around.

    There are protected shallows perfect for kids, but WATCH THEM! This river is unpredictable and a killer. We stress that point all the time. It’s quiet and serene but has hidden dangers. Walk the shallows before you let the kids in, then stay with them.

    If you explore this website you will find answers to most of your questions. Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff to sort through, but you’ll arrive at the beach more informed than most folks. Having done that, if you still have questions feel free to e-mail or call FOMB at Friend of Mazo Beach on the ‘contact’ link on the top bar of the site.

    Also, check out Nude Wisconsin, there’s a link on the right sidebar. Also would suggest the Valley View Nude Car Show this weekend (Aug. 8-10). Look for it on All Nudist ( Have a great visit!

  8. How late in the year is the beach open? Is there a season? I would like to visit mid-September, warm days in October even.

  9. As noted on the front page, the beach is open 6 AM until 8 PM year-round. Of course, things slow down a bit when it’s below freezing.

    On a sunny, windless day it can be quite comfortable down into the 40’s.

    The porta-potties go away sometime in the fall.

    Come and enjoy!

  10. I have to disagree with that last comment…doesn’t make sense

  11. I noticed that this is not the first time at all that you mention this topic. Why have you chosen it again?

  12. First, this is a great explanation/introduction to Mazo Beach – thank you!

    Next, I just want to say that I’ve not only taken my camera but have seen others with cameras there…and it seems that as long as you’re not trying to photograph THE PEOPLE, it’s okay. Over the years, not only have I taken lots of pictures of the landscape and ever-changing ‘waterscape’, but I’ve taken many pictures of my kids playing in the sand and water. So, though I think it’s a good “general rule” to say “no cameras”, it’s not true that they “aren’t allowed”…it’s all about being respectful. How else did the pictures in this post get here? 😉

  13. Oops. I meant to say that as a general rule for newbie…”no cameras”. Perhaps it’s okay that I did it because people knew I was a regular and non-threatening. I hope that makes sense!

  14. Sweet, Times they are a’changin. Time was you couldn’t go to a nudist venue with tats or piercings, or shaved. That’s usually not a problem now. Phone cams are common. Nudism isn’t quite the boogyman it used to be, but still unacceptable to the majority.

    More people are becoming comfortable ‘out of the closet’ where nudity is concerned.

    Still, a lot of folks that go to nudist places, like the Beach, cannot afford to have their ‘deviant’ behaviour exposed. Their careers could depend on it.

    That’s why cameras are discouraged, it’s a matter of personal privacy. You or I may use them with descretion but how are those folks to know?

    Social nudity is supposed to allow us to feel relaxed and comfortable in the manner which we wish. If people are running around with cameras, that doesn’t fit the picture.

    The Beach is beauiful, very photogenic. It’s hard to resist taking pictures. But here’s some very sure advice: If someone has the slightest problem with a photographer, they WILL find out if their camera can swim!

    As an aside, after years at the Beach, we’ve seen only one instance (other than ‘sanctioned’ cam shoots) of a possible cell phone cam. That gentleman was surrounded by a bunch of upset naked folks who pursuaded him that maybe he didn’t belong there.

    So yes, the ‘no cam’ rule is mainly for newbies, but everyone should condider the feelings of others at the Beach.

  15. I finally managed to get to Mazo Beach. I went during a weekday, so there weren’t a lot of people there. It was the best experience I’ve had in my life! It wasn’t uncomfortable or awkward at all. The people there were friendly, but no one pushed themselves on me. I enjoyed listening to a book on my mp3 player and walking at the shoreline. It was my first nudist experience, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I’m counting down the days until I can return, and I would tell anyone considering it that it’s a very low-key way to give it a try. It was an experience I will never wait and can’t wait to repeat!

  16. A good rule of thumb, I guess, would be that if you’re at the beach just so you can take photos of the naked people, you already know that you don’t belong and shouldn’t be taking photos of folks without their permission.
    I’ve been going to Mazo Beach for many, many years…since the good ol’ days of summerlong camping…and have taken tons of photos of the groups of friends I spent time with, many of which are no longer living so the photos are cherished.
    I’ve seen many nudist families at Mazo taking photos as well, it’s a normal ‘vacation’ activity.
    The bottom line is, if you KNOW that you shouldn’t be taking pictures there, DON’T!!
    On the topic of taking photos, it’s a great deterrant for the sex mongers in the bushes…..dash up to them with your camera phone and watch how quickly they leave the area!!

  17. I don’t know if I missed it, but is alcohol permitted at the beach???

    • Yes, but remember that glass is banned. Please drink responsibly from a can or plastic container, and take the trash with you.

  18. Is it true that Mazo Beach is now only open on weekends?

  19. When does the beach open this year thanks

  20. I’m going soon 🙂 for my second time.

  21. How far up and down the beach is nudity acceptable?

    • There aren’t lines drawn in the sand, but the further you go the more at risk you are. The DNR loves citing people, so please don’t go too far from the main area. The islands and sandbar along the main channel are off-limits.

  22. I just read a post on a Face Book page concerning Mazo
    “Ben Franklin
    Yesterday at 17:48
    Increased patrols and arrests by DNR have mostly shut down nudist activity at the beach. Signs are posted prohibiting naturism. A newly installed security camera is monitoring incoming vehicle plates. There is a renewed interest by families visiting the beach with children. Recommend keeping clothes on if you do visit to avoid being arrested.” I will be contacting the DNR Monday to see what I can find out for sure. (1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367 – Confidentially report suspected wildlife, recreational, and environmental violations.
    1-888-936-7463 – General questions seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. | 24-Hour Spill Emergency Hotline: 1-800-943-0003)

    • It’s clearly fake. He also posted the same message here, under the same name, but I ignored it. I saw the message on FB. His account on FB was completely empty and brand new. I reported it as fake, and FB confirmed it’s in the process of being removed.

      There are certainly a few new vocal people opposed to the beach, and they have a lot of time to post random things like what you saw. Please react appropriately.

  23. Will Mazo Beach be open this Saturday, April 18th? I was thinking about going, but I wasn’t sure though. And will it ever open during the week again?

  24. How current is this web site info about not being arrested for nudity?

    • Current as-of 2015. Just stick to the main part of the beach area with everyone else.

  25. Can anyone tell me if Mazo Beach will be open on July 4th Weekend?

  26. Never done this before. Looking to try with my wife. Want to bring our dog but the website does not address the pet issue. Are pets allowed? Any specific rules? Thanks.

  27. My wife and I are planning to visit the beach, but are wondering if it is still clothing optional. We heard it no longer is and could face arrest? Is this true?

    Thank you

    • Of course it’s still c/o. There would be a huge banner prominently on this site if the legal status changed.

  28. I understand the beach is closed M-F now. Are the Saturday and Sunday hours year-round? If not, when does the beach close for the winter?

  29. Today 4/24/2016, i am only asking how up to date is this post? Are we able to visit on the weekends or is the beach officially closed period?

  30. Can someone tell me if the beach is officially closed, not open on Saturday and Sunday’s any more in 2016

  31. The DNR said it was closing the beach for improvements to the parking lot and to build “Dressing rooms”. Has anyone been past the beach either by boat or by car to see if anything is actually happening?

    • None of it is happening yet. The Master Planning process is still going on, so they probably won’t start until it’s finalized.

  32. The DNR is not God.. with enough support.. the will of the people could change things. But a few town criers will not be enough. Sorry to say.

  33. I’m interested in joining the badger naturists.Also would like to know how to get a handicap permanent. So I can park closer to the beach.! I do have my Handicap permanent. That I hang from my rearview mirror, when I go shopping.!

    • The beach is currently closed, so a permit won’t do you much good at the moment. To get involved, please call the number on the Contact page.

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