Gov. Tony 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:
Fees waived• Entrance fees are waived.
• Please do not congregate at self-registration stations or electronic kiosks.
Restrooms open• 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.
• 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 campsites (individual, group, and indoor) are closed through April 30, 2020.
• Refunds will be issued to all customers.
• No new camping reservations will be taken for dates prior to 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, keep in mind the need for 6 feet of social distance, limited travel and proper hand washing.
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 COVID-19, 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.