Wisconsin State Parks To Adjust Operations

 State Parks To Lengthen Hours, Reopen Select Restrooms And Extend Campground Closures


Wisconsin State Parks are adjusting operations. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – In accordance with public health guidelines and safety recommendations, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is modifying current operations to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff.

Beginning Saturday, May 23, all Wisconsin state park system properties will return to regular operating hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Properties will no longer be closed Wednesdays.

In addition, a limited number of day-use area restrooms at park properties will reopen for public use beginning Wednesday, June 3. Visitors are reminded to plan ahead as well as bring hand sanitizer in the event it is not available at facilities.

All group, family and indoor group campsites will remain closed through June 7. All events and shelter reservations will also be canceled through June 7. Permit and reservation holders will be contacted and provided a full refund. The status of events, reservations and camping after June 7 is currently under review.

Rock Island State Park is closed to all use, including camping, until July 1. According to the ferry operator, ferry service to and from the island is on hold until further notice due to high lake levels and pending guidelines for both State Park and vessel operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The following properties will remain closed for the health and safety of the public, staff, and property integrity:

  • Dells of The Wisconsin River State Natural Area
  • Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area
  • Parfrey's Glen state Natural area
  • Pewits Nest state Natural area


The priority continues to be the safety and health of our visitors and staff and we still ask the public to continue recreating responsibly close to home, practicing social distancing, frequently washing their hands, and only traveling for necessity. The DNR will continue to turn the dial on additional outdoor recreation opportunities, amenities and services at our state park system properties. Visitors are also encouraged to wear face coverings in situations where social distancing may be difficult. This may apply to outdoor spaces as well.

As we move into the holiday weekend be mindful of the following:

  • An annual park sticker or trail pass is required to visit state parks and trails which can be purchased online or by calling 1-888-305-0398 daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • All restrooms are closed through June 2
  • Temporary capacity restrictions will be put into place as needed to manage admissions and overcrowding at properties. View current property information before visiting here: Wisconsin State Park Capacity Updates.
  • 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.

The DNR urges visitors to do their part when visiting state parks. Most Wisconsin state parks, forests and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins. When you visit, you will need to take your garbage and recyclables home with you. We all play a vital role in taking care of our natural resources. Following the Leave No Trace principles helps protect the land for generations to come.

The DNR continues to receive the most up-to-date information and will adjust operations as conditions change. We will also continue to monitor on-the-ground circumstances each day to determine if additional changes may become necessary. Before visiting other properties, please check with individual parks regarding changes to park operations.

For specific information regarding the COVID-19 we encourage the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Burnett County Forest & Parks Summer-Use ATV/UTV Trails open Friday, May 22

Summer-Use ATV/UTV Trails open Friday, May 22.

During the summer season, (which runs through September 15), you may operate your ATV/UTV on State-funded Summer-Use Trails ONLY. Summer-Use Trails are designated with WHITE blazers.

Remember - It is illegal to ride ATVs & UTVs on the Gandy Dancer Trail south of Hwy 77 in Burnett County during any non-frozen season.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV Trail Pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please go to the WI DNR webpage for the state definitions and registration/pass information.

Trails will close in the event of a Red Flag Alert due to fire danger. Always check back for updated information before riding.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time.

Use caution and look for signage regarding timber sale activity. Trucks may be crossing trails.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and their town roads.

NO OFF-TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED. Please stay on the designated trails to protect our trail agreements with private landownders.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

Contact Information

If you need any maps, or if you need any other information, please contact Burnett County Tourism at 1-800-788-3164 or feel free to email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To contact Burnett County Forest & Parks, please visit their website at www.burnettcounty.com/trails

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Flambeau Trail Update

5/21/20 – The Flambeau Trail is open and is in good condition. Brushing is begging today on trails 103 and 104 by Wintergreen Lake. Once this area is completed brushing will begin on trail 111 between Blockhouse and Hwy 182. Beavers have been active on trail 111 near Newman Lake. If you notice any plugged culverts or water coming over the trail please contact Brady Howe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 715-762-5104. Trails are a little dusty at the moment, but with some rain in the forecast that shouldn't be an issue for much longer. Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

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Get Outside. Stay Safe. Be Well.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has released some great information for getting outside, staying safe and being well during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are some great tips for accomplishing getting outside, staying safe and being well.  


Get Outside. Stay Safe. Be Well. 

Time spent outdoors being physically active keeps your mind and body healthy. Follow these recommendations to keep yourself and others safe.
  • Feeling Sick? Please stay home. Have a cough or fever? Call your doctor.

  • Physical distance 6 feet from others. Maintain a safe distance from others not in your household. Smile and wave hello, but respect others' space.

  • Ride solo or only with other members of your household. Ride solo, but let others know your plans, your route and when you'll be back.

  • Avoid congregating. Maintain a safe distance at access points. Allow others to leave before entering a crowded area.

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after touching shared surfaces and before you touch your face. 

  • Pack it out. Leave no trace. Be respectful of nature. Please take your trash with you if receptacles are unavailable or full.

Click "Download File" for the PDF version of the flyer. 

File Name: Get-Outside
File Size: 586 kb
Download File
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Marinette County Trail Detour

Due to a washout on Benson Lake Road, the trail from Goodman Park to the west to the Forest County line is closed. The detour will be; from the power line trail turn west on Homestead Lake Road to County I turn right on I to Camp 5 Road west on Camp 5 rd to Harper lk rd West on Harper Lake Road to Valley Lake Road than north on Valley Lake Road to Benson Lake Road. This detour should only be approximately 2 weeks. These are town roads you will be using this route with vehicles use extreme caution on your ride.

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