MADISON — Fees are now waived for all Wisconsin State Parks and trails that continue to remain open to the public. Parks, law enforcement and property staff will also continue to provide routine sweeps of state park system properties.
Staying home as much as possible is the best way to lower COVID-19 infection rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, getting outdoors can have physical and mental benefits.
Distance is key during the public health emergency. Residents are to not congregate at restrooms, self-registration stations or electronic kiosks. Additionally, gathering in groups of 10 or more people is prohibited and it is suggested to maintain six feet of distance from others.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to receive the most up-to-date information and will adjust operations as conditions change. The agency will also continue to monitor on-the-ground circumstances each day to determine if park closures become necessary.
Beginning March 24, the DNR implemented 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:
● Entrance fees are waived;
● 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;
● Do not congregate at restrooms.
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 open to the public.
● 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.
● All campsites (individual, group, and indoor) are closed through April 30. Refunds will be issued to all customers. No new reservations will be accepted until further notice.
Visitors are reminded to practice proper personal hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to limit group sizes to under ten people when enjoying state properties.
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.
Customer service representatives also continue to provide service via phone at 1-888-936-7463 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Wisconsin’s waters are open and those who have a license can fish. Normal season regulations apply. All current regulations apply for hunting, trapping, and fishing seasons.
In light of Gov. Evers COVID-19 recommendations, keep in mind the need for social distance, limited travel and proper handwashing.
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 the public is encouraged 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.