Fees Waived For Wisconsin State Parks And Trails
State Parks, Trails And Restrooms Remain Open; Property Buildings Closed
March 24, 2020 at 10:44:26 am
Devil's Doorway at Devil's Lake State Park is just one of the many places you can still visit during this public health emergency with appropriate social distancing. Photo credit: DNR
[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: Release was updated to reflect that outdoor activity is considered an essential activity.]
MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Evers' Safer at Home order (item 11.c) recognizes outdoor activity as an essential activity. As such, all State Parks, Trails and Forests remain open and all fees are now waived. All current regulations apply for hunting, trapping, and fishing seasons.
Under the Safer at Home order, we must do all that we can to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Staying home as much as possible is the best way to lower COVID-19 infection rates. The public should stay as close to home as possible and avoid travel outside of their community.
Distance is key while people are visiting state parks and trails. We are asking the public not to congregate at restrooms, self-registration stations, electronic kiosks and maintain six feet of distance from other people.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 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 if park closures become necessary.
Should you need a place with space, getting outdoors in your community has both physical and mental benefits. Beginning March 24, 2020, the DNR will implement the following changes to the operation of all state parks and recreation areas across the state consistent with guidance provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Department of Administration.
Here is the latest:
- Entrance fees are waived.
- Please do not congregate at self-registration stations or electronic kiosks.
- Restrooms on state properties will remain open given there are enough resources, cleaning supplies and access to personal protective equipment for staff to maintain them.
- Please do not congregate at restrooms.
All state park offices, visitor centers, and non-essential buildings are closed for the duration of the public health emergency
- Effective immediately, the DNR will close the following state buildings to the public: Park headquarters, offices, visitor centers, nature centers, research stations, ranger stations, shooting ranges, fish hatcheries, shelters, showers, concessions, and indoor group camp buildings on all DNR owned properties.
- All towers, stairways to observation towers/areas and playgrounds are closed.
- Properties will continue to be staffed and outdoor recreational opportunities (hiking, trails, fishing, hunting, etc.) remain open at this time.
- Boat launches at state parks remain open. Fees for boat launches in Wisconsin State Parks are also waived.
- Visitors are reminded to practice proper personal hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to limit group sizes.
Camping And Special Permits
All camping at state properties (individual, group and indoor campsites; and backcountry and backpack camping) is closed through April 30, 2020.
- Refunds will be issued to all customers.
Reservations are available for after June 1, 2020.
- DNR staff or Camis Reservations staff will be reaching out to individuals with current or upcoming group camping reservations to issue refunds. Any other questions regarding camping reservations can be directed to the Camis Call Center at 1-888-947-2757.
- DNR property managers will also be contacting groups or individuals who have existing special event permits.
- Our customer service representatives also continue to provide service via phone at 1-888-936-7463 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Hunting And Fishing
- All current regulations apply for hunting, trapping, and fishing seasons.
- Hunters, trappers, and anglers are encouraged to hunt, trap and fish in their communities only.
- In light of Gov. Evers COVID-19 recommendations, please keep in mind the need for 6-feet of social distance, limited travel and proper handwashing.
Steps To Prevent And Avoid Exposure
- Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house)
- Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when able
For updates on event cancellations and building closures at DNR properties, visit the DNR website or follow @WIDNR on Facebook, @wi_dnr on Instagram, or @WDNR on Twitter.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. For specific information regarding the 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, March 24, 2020