MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – The spread of the coronavirus has caused most events across the state to close – except Wisconsin State Parks and Trails, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
“We recognize that spending time outdoors benefits both physical and mental health. Getting outdoors can also help relieve stress, especially during this public health emergency. A quiet walk does wonders to reduce our anxieties,” said DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole. “The DNR is committed to providing a safe environment for our visitors to enjoy, while protecting the health of our staff.”
On March 17, Governor Tony Evers announced guidelines prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 or more people to combat the spread of coronavirus. To adhere to those guidelines, the DNR says parks, law enforcement, and property staff will work to ensure groups larger than 10 do not congregate. Officials will also provide sweeps of state park systems properties.
The DNR says guests to state land can also expect a few changes.
- Admission into state parks and recreation areas will be voluntary at this time via self-registration and electronic kiosks.
- Numerous buildings will be closed, including 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.
- Restrooms will remain open as long as there are enough resources, cleaning supplies, and personal protective equipment for staff to maintain them.
- Properties will continue to be staffed and outdoor recreational opportunities (hiking, trails, fishing, hunting, etc.) remain open at this time.
- Visitors are reminded to practice proper personal hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to limit group sizes to under 10 people when on state properties.
All campsites will be closed through April 30, according to the DNR. Customers will receive refunds and no new reservations will be accepted until further notice. Any questions regarding camping reservations can be directed to the Camis Call Center at 1-888-947-2757 or the DNR at 1-888-936-7463 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The DNR says that, because the coronavirus situation is evolving rapidly, this information may change. For more information, visit the DNR website.
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