Rhinelander, WI – APRIL 30, 2020 -- The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will be lifting the closure order for boat landings (except for some within closed campgrounds) today. In addition, both motorized and non-motorized trails on the National Forest will be open May 8 or when local conditions allow for opening. Please check the website or with your local county to see what trails are open before heading out.
"The Forest takes the safety of our personnel, contractors, volunteers, and visitors seriously, and we also understand that outdoor activities like fishing and hiking are encouraged during this difficult time. It is important to stay close to home and limit travel when pursuing places to recreate," said Paul Strong, Forest Supervisor on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
While the boat landings will be available for use, they will not be maintained, nor will any associated facilities be available such as restrooms or garbage receptacles until further notice. Trails will be open however, without restrooms or garbage receptacles at trailheads.
"The Forest is working with trail partners to address eminent hazards on the trails prior to opening," said Strong. "The Forest and partners will be doing required maintenance only at this time while we work through the risks of field work"
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will continue to coordinate its COVID-19 response in alignment with all federal, state and local guidance. The Forest will be considering the risks associated with opening additional recreation sites, such as campgrounds, which remain closed. In addition, camping, campfires and groups of more than 10 people are prohibited on the National Forest until further notice. Please visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/cnnf and click on Alerts and Notices to view the closure orders outlining what is closed and prohibited.
When visiting your public lands, it is important to be aware of current forest limitations. To protect public health and safety, all visitors to the Forest are encouraged to:
- Avoid visiting the forest if you are sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing before and during your visit to the Forest.
- Take your trash with you when you leave.
- Please make arrangements to use the restroom before or after your visit to the forest. Unmanaged waste creates a health hazard for our employees and for other visitors.
- If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location. Also consider avoiding the Forest during high-use periods.
"The public is asked to do their part to ensure the safety of ourselves, our families and our communities," said Strong. "Please remember to take your trash with you, practice leave no trace principles and social distancing when recreating on your National Forest."