Walking to Picnic Point, the spit of land that juts out behind the UW Hospitals, is a Madison tradition. Numerous trails trail through the area with views of sailboats in University Bay and Madison on one side and wider vistas of Lake Mendota on the other. There are fire pits dotting the property that can be reserved. Small, sandy beaches, excellent for wading (when the algae isn’t too bad) run along the northern Mendota side. Leashed dogs are welcome, though bikes are not. There is a charge for parking during the day, so consider parking further up and hiking the Lakeshore Path for an extra stretch of the legs.