for flashing signs on Highways 12, 113, and 60. These signs provide drivers an
early warning when the ferry is not running so they can adjust their routes to
bypass the ferry. For up-to-date traffic information, Dial 511.
Click Here for
Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation.
ferry has been in operation since 1848. In 1844, Chester Mattson along with
George Grant built the ferry across the Wisconsin River. Each passenger was
charged five cents to ride the ferry, as well as 25 cents for each horse and 40
cents for a team of oxen.
1924 Sauk and Columbia Counties took over the operation of a wooden ferry,
Colsac I, carrying eight cars across now Lake Wisconsin, charging 35 cents per
car and 5 cents for pedestrians and 75 cents for trucks.
State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation took charge of the ferry
operation in 1933, allowing all passengers and vehicles to cross the lake free
of charge. In 1963, Colsac I was replaced by the current ferry, Colsac II.
The Colsac II had the capacity to carry 12 vehicles. In 2003, the Colsac
III, a 15-car ferry, was christened and now makes the routine voyage across Lake
Merrimac Ferry, which crosses the Wisconsin River between Sauk and Columbia
counties, is Wisconsin's only free ferry. It shuttles WIS 113 traffic between
Okee on the east bank and Merrimac on the west. The ferry is open for
service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, normally from April 15 through November
Colsac III photo
courtesy of Baraboo Interactive.