Wisconsin DNR To Open Most State Parks & Boat Launches With Restrictions
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has directed the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to open 34 state parks beginning May 1st. There are restrictions according to a press release from the Governor's office.
An annual state park pass or trail pass will still be required. To purchase these passes you can pay by credit card over the phone by calling 1-888-305-0398. They expect high call volume and there may be delays so they ask for your patience. You will not be able to purchase passes at the individual properties. You must have an annual admission sticker on the windshield of your car or proof of purchase while parked.
Locally, Amnicon falls and Pattison State Park will be included in the list of parks open. You can find the full map of open properties at the DNR website.
Park hours will also change to a shorter time, open from 6am-7pm. Parks will be closed on Wednesdays for maintenance and upkeep. The exception to the park hours are for the following areas that will remain open to 11pm.
- Black River State Forest
- Brule River State Forest
- Chippewa Flowage
- Flambeau River State Forest
- Governor Earl Peshtigo River State Forest
- Governor Knowles State Forest
- Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
- Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
- Pike Wild River
- Pine-Popple Wild River
- Turtle Flambeau Flowage
- Willow Flowage
DNR boat launches will also be open at state properties. They advise anglers and boaters to practice social distancing and to not travel far from their home. ATV trails will also open, and other state trails are open under the same trail pass regulations.
All park restrooms and buildings will remain closed. This includes playgrounds, shelters, towers, concession buildings and anywhere else people could congregate.
Camping remains closed until May 26th, along with group camps and shelters.
Under the order, the 34 state parks will be opened with special conditions that will prevent over crowding and ensure social distancing guidelines can be followed. Certain parks have been pre-determined to likely reach capacity. In those cases guests may be denied entry until other guests leave. Those parks are:
- Copper Falls
- Devil’s Lake
- Governor Dodge
- Governor Nelson
- Harrington Beach
- Hartman Creek
- High Cliff
- Kettle Moraine Southern Unit
- Lapham Peak
- Perrot, Rib Mountain
- Whitefish Dunes
- Willow River
You can also find more details and resources on the WI DNR COVID-19 statement.