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Wisconsin State Parks And Forests To Reopen on May 1

Fees Required, Limited Capacity And Modified Hours

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will reopen 34 state parks and forests on Friday, May 1 at the direction of Gov. Evers with special conditions.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will reopen 34 state parks and forests on Friday, May 1 at the direction of Gov. Evers with special conditions.

Contact(s): Contact: DNRPress@wisconsin.gov
April 28, 2020 at 10:06:19 am

Editor's Note: A map of open properties can be downloaded and printed here: https://bit.ly/DNROpenPropertiesMap

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will reopen 34 state parks and forests on Friday, May 1 at the direction of Gov. Evers with special conditions.

Under Gov. Evers Badger Bounce Back Plan which outlines important criteria for Wisconsin to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so, the DNR will modify current operations to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff.

Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and the need to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, Gov. Evers directed the DNR to close 38 Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas on Friday, April 10.

To minimize overcrowding, allow for social distancing requirements and to promote a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors, the following conditions will be put into place at all state park system properties until further notice beginning May 1:

ADMISSION REQUIRED
HOURS OF OPERATION

NOTE: Capital Springs State Recreation Area and Cross Plains State Park are managed cooperatively with multiple partners and municipalities and as such were removed from the closure list in April.

BOAT LAUNCHES
TRAILS
RESTROOMS AND BUILDINGS
PRE-DETERMINED SAFETY CAPACITY LIMITATIONS
CAMPING AND EVENTS

"We are excited to reopen several of our state parks and forests for the public to enjoy. We want to thank everyone for their cooperation with our new operating schedule and procedures," said DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole. "We must do all that we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When visiting our treasured state parks and forests, remember to stay close to home, practice social distancing and carry hand sanitizer. Please enjoy the outdoors responsibly and be more than safe."

The DNR urges visitors to do their part when visiting DNR properties. Most Wisconsin state parks, forests and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins. When you visit, please take your garbage and recyclables home with you. We all play a vital role in taking care of our natural resources. Following the Leave No Trace principles helps protect the land for generations to come.

Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing of 6 feet, refrain from congregating in large groups, travel only within your home communities and follow all existing state park rules and guidelines. Visitors are also encouraged to wear masks in situations where social distancing is difficult.

The DNR continues to receive the most up-to-date information and will adjust operations as conditions change. We will also continue to monitor on-the-ground circumstances each day to determine additional conditions that may become necessary. Before visiting other properties, please check with individual parks regarding changes to park operations.

For specific information regarding COVID-19 we encourage the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.



Last Revised: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Contact information

Need an expert? Contact the Office of Communications.

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email DNRPress@Wisconsin.gov and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.

For more information about news and media, contact:
Sarah Hoye
Director Of Communications
Office Of The Secretary