Free weekend of fun at state parks

Enjoy free fishing, free state park admission and zero trail pass requirements on June 6-7 during Free Fun Weekend.

The Wisconsin DNR will host the eighth annual Wisconsin Free Fun Weekend on June 6-7. Park admission fees, fishing license and trail pass requirements will be waived to encourage people to take advantage of and enjoy Wisconsin's outdoors.

During the two days:

•No state park admission stickers or trail passes are required.

• People may fish without a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps. All other fishing regulations apply.

• ATV, UTVs, and OHMs are exempt from registration requirements. Resident and non-resident all-terrain vehicle operators do not need a trail pass to ride state ATV trails.

• Capacity limits remain in effect at some properties to limit overcrowding.

• Visitors are asked to recreate responsibly close to home and practice social distancing.

Before heading to a state park, trail or waterbody, here are some additional things to know:

The fishing guidelines are:

• Residents and non-residents will not be required to have a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps.

• All 2020-2021 fishing regulations apply including bag and length limits.

• Due to the public health risk, loaner equipment will not be available. Anglers should bring their own equipment and bait.

• Only anglers living in the same household (i.e. family members or roommates) should fish within six feet of one another.

• Events such as fishing clinics have been canceled.

• Anglers are encouraged to have a backup plan in the event there is crowding or unsafe conditions where they plan to fish. We encourage everyone to fish safely and responsibly.

• Locate launches and shorefishing access points near you.

At state parks:

• Admission stickers will not be required.

• All state parks have updated hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• All group, family and indoor group campsites will remain closed through June 7. The status of events, reservations and camping after June 7 is currently under review.

• Some state parks have implemented capacity restrictions limiting admission. Make sure to look at current property information before visiting.

• Park-goers should remember to take their garbage and recycling home with them as most state parks, forests, and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins.

• Attractions at which social distancing cannot be achieved are closed at various properties; visit the park notices webpage for information about ongoing closures.

• All other facilities currently closed such as towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, entrance stations and concession buildings remain closed to the public.

• Fight the Bite! Ticks are out, and visitors should take precautions to prevent Lyme Disease.

• Make sure to follow the Leave No Trace principles to help protect these lands for generations to come.

For trails, passes will not be required for both residents and non-residents, and all linear/rail trails will be open to the public, including ATV trails.

A limited number of day-use area restrooms at park properties will reopen for public use beginning June 3. All other facilities will remain closed, including towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, contact stations and concession buildings. Attractions where social distancing cannot be achieved will be closed as needed at various properties.

The boat launching guidelines are:

• All DNR boat launches are open

• Anglers and recreational boaters should continue to practice social distancing and keep travel to a minimum.

• A list of launches and shorefishing access points is available on the DNR website to help anglers find fishing locations close to home.

• Boats need to be registered, which can be done either online or via mail.

• Minimize the spread of aquatic invasive species by removing plants and animals from boats before and after launching, draining all water from compartments, and never move live fish from any waterbody.

Free Fun Weekend has become a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. Keeping Wisconsinites safe remains the department's top priority. Free Fun Weekend goers are urged to continue to practice social distancing, avoid congregating in large groups, use hand sanitizer and wear masks when social distancing is difficult. For more information, go to www.dnr.wi.gov.

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