One day after relaxing his state-at-home order to allow curbside dropoff services for certain businesses, Gov. Tony Evers today ordered the reopening of state parks and forests.
Evers had ordered 40 parks, forest and recreation areas closed effective April 10 due to vandalism, litter and crowding amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s order reopens 34 state parks and forests starting Friday. Still, the order includes restrictions to minimize overcrowding and allow for social distancing.
Those conditions include:
*visitors must have an annual park sticker or trail pass to enter a state park.
*parks and forests will be open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, rather than the normal 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Properties also will be closed every Wednesday for upkeep. The Northern Forests, Flowages, Lower Wisconsin Riverway and Wild Rivers will be open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
*boat launches are opening, but boaters should practice social distancing and keep travel to a minimum.
*restrooms will remain closed.
*camping, group camps and shelters will remain closed until May 26, when the new stay-at-home order is scheduled to expire.
*there will be pre-determined capacities for many of the properties. When those sites reach that number, visitors won’t be allowed to enter until someone already in the park leaves.
The properties that aren’t reopening include:
*Gibraltar Rock state natural area
*Pewit’s Nest state natural area
*Parfrey’s Glen state natural area
*Dells of The Wisconsin River state natural area
See the release here.