Rhinelander, WI – APRIL 10, 2020 -- In alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure health safety of its employees, visitors and volunteers, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will be delaying the opening of all recreation sites and not allowing camping or campfires until further notice. In addition, the Forest is implementing a group-size limitation of 10 people or less per group across the entire Forest. Last week, the Forest shutdown all restrooms and removed garbage receptacles at recreation sites.
The following are closed until further notice:
- All Developed Campgrounds (Reservations will be cancelled, and refunds issued for the month of May). The Forest will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly with additional cancellations in June and/or the reopening of sites on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- All Day Use Areas (trailheads, picnic areas, boat landings, beaches and the Mountain Fire Tower)
- Lost Lake Cabins, Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center and Forest Lodge
- Dispersed (roadside/Forest) camping on the National Forest
- Trails (motorized and non-motorized designated trails)
- All restroom facilities
The General Forest remains open to the public including Forest Roads for hiking, biking and scenic driving. 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, search for a less occupied location. Also consider avoiding the Forest during peak hours.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest takes the safety of our personnel, contractors, volunteers, and visitors seriously. With spring quickly approaching, the potential for crowded conditions increases in parking areas, trailheads, and at popular forest destinations, undermining the country's critical efforts to contain the spread.
"Personal responsibility is now more important than ever. Let's all do our part to ensure we are keeping ourselves, our families and our communities safe by being prepared and recreating responsibly," said Paul Strong, Forest Supervisor on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will continue to coordinate its COVID-19 response in alignment with all federal, state and local guidance. When visiting your public lands, it is important to be aware of current forest limitations. Everyone is urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most recent CDC guidelines are available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html. Additional information is also available at https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has moved to virtual services. Please visit us at http://www.fs.usda.gov/cnnf and access our forest maps at https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/. You can also follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CNNF002 or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CNNF002.