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Gov. Evers directs Wisconsin DNR to close 40 state parks, recreational areas

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers addresses a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chambers during the Governor's State of the State speech at the state Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Madison, Wis. Photo: AP/ Andy Manis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers addresses a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chambers during the Governor's State of the State speech at the state Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Madison, Wis.

KSTP
Updated: April 09, 2020 10:20 AM
Created: April 09, 2020 09:56 AM

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is modifying its state park operations on a case-by-case basis to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff. 

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Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and the need to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff, Gov. Tony Evers has directed the DNR to close the following Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas effective Friday, April 10:

Northeast Region

  • High Cliff State Park

Southeast Region

  • Big Foot Beach State Park
  • Harrington Beach State Park
  • Havenwoods State Forest
  • Kohler-Andrae State Park
  • Kettle Moraine State Forest, Lapham Peak
  • Loew Lake, Mukwonago River
  • Northern Unit
  • Pike Lake, Southern Unit
  • Lakeshore State Park 
  • Richard Bong State Recreational Area

South Central Region

  • Aztalan State Park
  • Belmont Mound State Park
  • Blue Mound State Park
  • Cadiz Springs State Recreational Area
  • Capital Springs State Recreational Area
  • Cross Plains State Park, Devil's Lake State Park
  • Fenley State Recreational Area
  • Governor Dodge State Park
  • Governor Nelson State Park
  • Lake Kegonsa State Park
  • Lower Wisconsin Riverway
  • Mackenzie Center
  • Mirror Lake State Park
  • Natural Bridge State Park
  • Nelson Dewey State Park
  • New Glarus Woods State Park
  • Rocky Arbor State Park
  • Sauk Prairie State Recreational Area
  • Tower Hill State Park
  • Wyalusing State Park
  • Yellowstone Lake State Park
  • Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area
  • Pewits Nest State Natural Area
  • Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area
  • Dells of The Wisconsin River State Natural Area

In efforts to help minimize the transmission of COVID-19 at parks, the DNR waived fees, and closed state park offices, visitor centers, and non-essential buildings. 

"Currently, the safety of our staff and visitors supersedes continuing operations at certain locations," the DNR said in a statement. "If the public does not follow social distancing guidelines and vandalizes property, more state parks may have to close."


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