MADISON – Wisconsin state parks are reopening and expanding amenities this spring after more than a year of restrictions due to COVID-19.
Several State Park System operations updates outlined below. Starting April 30, 2021 the following changes will be implemented:
- Observation towers and playgrounds will be open
- Volunteer group sizes will be increased to 50 people
- Capacity for open-air shelters, amphitheaters and outdoor group campgrounds will be increased to 100 people
- Non-department led special event capacity will increase from 50 to 100. Special event permit applicants may work with property staff to phase larger events with capacities over 100.
- Stand-alone concession facilities will open to the public at 50% capacity including staff
In addition to the operations updates, the following amenities continue to be available to state park visitors:
- Family camping (100% reservable with auto check-in)
- Outdoor group camping, maximum capacity of 100 people (100% reservable with auto check-in)
- Bathroom and dump station facilities
- Accessible cabins
- Drive-up window service
- Concessions, including firewood sales
Rock Island will remain closed to all visitors through Thursday, May 27 to allow for repairs to the dock including dredging of the dock area. Camping reservation holders will be contacted directly and those scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, May 26 or Thursday, May 27, will be given the opportunity to shorten their stay to arrive on Friday, May 28.
Indoor group campgrounds and indoor shelters, including the Flambeau River State Forest yurt, will also remain closed through June 1. Wisconsin state park and property visitor capacity closures will remain in place to help manage overcrowding and promote social distancing.
The following State Natural Areas are now open:
- Pewits Nest
- Parfrey’s Glen
Rain coupled with an increase in use can sometimes be damaging to public spaces and natural resources. While DNR staff try to provide signage and condition updates whenever possible, please be sure to stay on trails and seek dry trail alternatives if you find muddy conditions.
Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and to wear a face covering when a distance of 6 feet or greater cannot be achieved.
State park visitors can purchase annual admission passes online, over the phone by calling local properties directly or in-person at self-registration stations at individual properties.