Jeramey Jannene

Evers Reopening State Parks, Forests

On May 1st, 34 parks across state to reopen, including city's Lakeshore State Park, Havenwoods State Forest.

By - Apr 28th, 2020 05:27 pm
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A barrier prevents access to Lakeshore State Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A barrier prevents access to Lakeshore State Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

After a three-week closure, almost all state parks and forests will reopen under an order from Governor Tony Evers. The parks are slated to reopen May 1st, but will be closed every Wednesday for maintenance and upkeep.

Evers had ordered 40 state parks and forests closed to the public starting April 10th. The governor cited difficulty ensuring social distancing compliance, a growing shortage of cleaning supplies and trash as reasons for closing the parks initially.

“Outdoor recreation is important for both physical and mental health, and I know how important it is to Wisconsinites to get outside and enjoy Wisconsin’s natural resources and spring weather,” said Evers. “With a few adjustments, like closing one day a week for maintenance and reduced hours of operation, folks should be able to get outside and enjoy our parks safely and respectfully.”

The parks and forests reopening include the two within the city of Milwaukee, Lakeshore State Park on the edge of downtown and Havenwoods State Forest near W. Silver Spring Dr. and N. Sherman Blvd.

With few exceptions, state parks will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week, down from the normal, pre-pandemic hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Camping and shelters will remain closed until May 26th as will many other structures, including restrooms, towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, offices, contact stations and concessions buildings. All event permits remain canceled through May 26th.

A limited admission capacity will be imposed and monitored at many state parks, including Devil’s Lake, Kettle Moraine and Lapham Peak.

Four properties remain closed under the revised order, Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area, Pewits Nest State Natural Area, Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area and Dells of The Wisconsin River State Natural Area.

Admission fees at state parks and trails requiring them have been reinstated. Passes can not be purchased at the park. Individuals may call 1-888-305-0398 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily to purchase a pass.

Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee have closed playgrounds and other facilities at their parks, but the park lands remain open.

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