State parks reopen for camping; DNR with recommendations for campers

HARTFORD -- After being stuck inside for months, the outdoors never felt so good.

Rob Wessberg

"Everybody is in a good mood," Rob Wessberg of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Wisconsin state park campgrounds are reopening for the first time since COVID-19 hit.  Many campers are not wasting any time to get around a campfire at Pike Lake unit in Hartford.

"It's like a big anxiety relief. It's part of the therapy through all that we're going through right now is to be able to come outside. Our campsites are far enough apart that you are safe," Wessberg said.

But for those ready to take on nature should know there are some changes. DNR officers say you must make a reservation -- and plan ahead.

"Bring towels, hand soap, hand sanitizer at your campsite," he said.

Park officials recommend camping within the same household and social distancing reminders scattered through the parks.

While masks are not required -- employees will wear them. Offices, playgrounds, and towers are still closed.

"It's not because we don't want you to enjoy yourself, but we want to make sure all our visitors are safe when they come out and visit," Wessberg said.

The DNR suggests having a plan B, as they're only allowing a certain number of vehicles in at a time.

As with many itching to get outside -- parks could fill up fast.

"The reason for those closings, if you come up to a property and see a barricade, is not to park outside that still barricade and still walk in. It's truly saying we're full," he said.

To make a reservation or more information on camping, CLICK HERE.