The DNR is opening campgrounds in state parks beginning June 10.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will reopen state campgrounds on June 10 with special conditions to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.

Some of the changes that campers and park visitors will experience beginning June 10 include automatic touchless check-in and new signs to educate visitors on recreating responsibly. Park offices will remain closed to the public.

Camping reservations will be accepted online and by phone only to eliminate face-to-face interaction with DNR staff. Those reservations can be made by calling 1-888-947-2757, or going to wisconsin.goingtocamp.com.

Check-ins are no longer necessary at the office or visitor station when coming to a property. Please proceed directly to your campsite and begin setup. Property staff will visit sites to monitor occupancy.

Group camping, shelters, and amphitheaters will be closed through June 30. All reservation holders will be contacted and provided a full refund.

Most restrooms at state properties are now open. Some remote water fountains may be closed in the day or have the bubbler turned off and have access to the water spigot only. All other facilities will remain closed, including towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, contact stations and concessions. Equipment rentals are also unavailable at this time.

Firewood is not available at state parks at this time and should be purchased before campers arrive. Campers are reminded that certified firewood that has been properly heat-treated or aged to kill any infesting pests or diseases to protect Wisconsin’s trees must be purchased within 10 miles of their camping location. 

Annual park stickers and trail passes are required to visit state parks and trails. Annual stickers are available for purchase online or with credit card by phone from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week by calling toll free at 1-888-305-0398. Annual trail and daily passes are not available for purchase at individual properties. Visitors must have an annual admission sticker adhered to their vehicle or proof of purchase for entry. Once proof of purchase is shown, visitors must place proof of purchase on the dash of the windshield while parked within the boundary of the property.

Due to high demand, many properties will likely reach their pre-determined capacity limits. When this happens, properties will close until existing visitors leave, and capacity is reduced. Visitors are encouraged to explore other DNR recreation areas or visit during non-peak hours, which are before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

The following State Natural Areas remain closed — Pewits Nest, Parfrey’s Glen, Dells of the Wisconsin River and Gibraltar Rock. Popular attractions within state parks, including beaches, where social distancing cannot be achieved may close as needed.

All events and special event permits are canceled through June 30. Volunteer activities will also follow the Bounce Back Plan and be permitted on a case-by-case basis depending on group size and whether the activity can be done maintaining 6 feet of space between volunteers.

The DNR urges state park visitors to do their part when visiting state properties. Most state parks, forests and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins. When you visit, please take your garbage and recyclables home with you. We all play a vital role in taking care of our natural resources. Following the ‘Leave No Trace’ principles helps protect the land for generations to come.

Ticks are out, and visitors should take precautions to prevent Lyme Disease.

Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing, refrain from congregating in large groups, travel only within your home communities and follow all existing state park rules and guidelines. Visitors are also encouraged to wear masks in situations where social distancing is difficult.

The DNR 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 additional conditions that may become necessary. Before visiting other properties, please check with the individual parks regarding changes to park operations.

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