Fees waived for Wisconsin state parks, trails

Devils Lake Devils Doorway Dnr Submitted 1280
Devils Doorway at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wis.
Via DNR

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) – Effective immediately Tuesday, all fees are waived for Wisconsin state parks and trails that continue to remain open to the public.

Staying home as much as possible is what is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, however, if a place with space is desired, heading to the state parks and trails can provide some benefits, both physical and mental.

Distance is key during the public health emergency. The state Department of Natural Resources asked visitor not to congregate at restrooms, self-registration stations or electronic kiosks. Visitors can’t gather in groups of 10 or more people and they must maintain six feet of distance from others.

The DNR said it will continue to monitor on-the-ground circumstances each day to determine if park closures become necessary.

Beginning Tuesday, the DNR will implement the following changes to the operation of all state parks and recreation areas across the state, which is consistent with guidance provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health and the Department of Administration:

Fees Waived

  • Entrance fees are waived.
  • Do not congregate at self-registration stations or electronic kiosks.

Restrooms Open

  • Restrooms on state properties will remain open given there are enough resources, cleaning supplies and access to personal protective equipment for staff to maintain them.
  • Do not congregate at restrooms.

All state park offices, visitor centers, and non-essential buildings are closed for the duration of the public health emergency

  • The DNR will close the following state buildings to the public: Park headquarters, offices, visitor centers, nature centers, research stations, ranger stations, shooting ranges, fish hatcheries, shelters, showers, concessions, and indoor group camp buildings on all DNR owned properties open to the public.
  • Properties will continue to be staffed and outdoor recreational opportunities (hiking, trails, fishing, hunting, etc.) remain open.
  • Boat launches at state parks remain open.
  • Visitors are reminded to practice proper personal hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to limit group sizes to under 10 people when enjoying state properties.

Camping and Special Permits

  • All campsites (individual, group, and indoor) are closed through April 30. Refunds will be issued to all customers.
  • No new reservations will be accepted until further notice.
  • DNR staff or Camis Reservations staff will be reaching out to individuals with current or upcoming group camping reservations to issue refunds. Any other questions regarding camping reservations can be directed to the Camis Call Center at 888-947-2757.
  • DNR property managers will also be contacting groups or individuals who have existing special event permits.
  • Our customer service representatives also continue to provide service via phone at 888-936-7463 from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Hunting and Fishing

  • Wisconsin’s waters are open. You can fish if you have a license. Normal season regulations apply.
  • All current regulations apply for hunting, trapping, and fishing seasons.
  • In light of Gov. Tony Evers’s COVID-19 recommendations, please keep in mind the need for social distance, limited travel and proper handwashing.

People should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:

  • Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates, sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house).
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoiding touching your face.
  • Staying home when able.