Wisconsin to re-open 34 state parks under social distancing rules.

  • Post Author
    by News director
  • Post Date
    Tue Apr 28 2020
Many of Wisconsin's state parks and forests will re-open under capacity and operating limits to preserve social distancing. Photo: Yinan Chen, licensed under Creative Commons.

Author: Sam Buisman

Wisconsin will re-open 34 state parks under social distancing guidelines on May 1.

Governor Tony Evers ordered the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday to re-open nearly three dozen state parks, forests and recreational areas previously closed over COVID-19 at the beginning of May. However, the parks will operate under certain restrictions, including shorter hours and capacity limitations, to prevent overcrowding and allow for social distancing.

“I am glad that we are able to reopen these spaces with new safety guidelines,” said Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in a press release “so that people can enjoy our state parks and forests while we continue to prioritize public health and safety.”

Upon re-opening, state parks and forests will be open from 6 A.M to 7 P.M. every day except Wednesday, during which the parks will be closed for upkeep. Visitors may be denied entry to a park if it has reached what officials determine to be a safe capacity to maintain social distancing. Additionally, all restrooms, playgrounds, concession stands, nature centers and other facilities at the parks will remain closed.

The Governor said that these limitations were necessary for re-opening the parks amidst the continuing coronavirus crisis.

The closure of state parks has been a sticking point at protests against the Safer At Home order.

An annual park sticker or trail pass is still required to visit the parks. They can be purchased by credit card by calling 1-888-305-0398, but passes cannot be purchased at the parks themselves.