Camping Changes for 2020
Wisconsin State Park System
In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, special conditions will be in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. Changes to campground procedures are outlined below. All camping rules still apply.
Camping reservations are required and can be made for the same day of your arrival or up to 11 months in advance of your planned date of occupancy. Campers must make a reservation before setting up on any site.
Reserve a campsite online or by calling 1-888-947-2757.
All state parks, southern forests and state recreation areas are now completely reservable. There are no non-reservable (first-come, first served) campsites available at these properties. Some non-reservable sites remain available at northern forests and flowages.
Property offices are closed and campers should proceed directly to their reserved campsite after the designated check-in time of 3 p.m. Campers will be automatically checked-in through their reservation. All occupancy rules still apply.
DNR staff may periodically stop by campsites to verify check-in. Campers should keep a copy of their reservation on hand or available on a mobile device for staff to verify the reservation.
Campground hosts are present in many but not all campgrounds. Information regarding how to get in touch with property staff or conservation wardens will be available at kiosks located in campgrounds.
Vehicle admission stickers
Visitors must have an annual admission sticker adhered to their vehicle or proof of purchase for entry. Annual park stickers only, can be purchased online. State trail and other passes can still be purchased over the phone by calling 1-888-305-0398 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days per week. Buy before you go: annual passes are NOT available for purchase at individual properties and daily vehicle admission stickers are not available at this time.
Select parks have reopened firewood sales [PDF]. Firewood sales at other state park properties remain closed until further notice.
Campers are reminded that only certified firewood or firewood originating from within 10 miles of the park is allowed into the park.
- Certified firewood dealers can be located through the DATCP website [exit DNR].
- Local firewood dealers and certified firewood outlets may also be located through Firewood Scout [exit DNR].
Showers, restrooms and drinking water
Restrooms, including shower buildings, will be open in day-use areas and campgrounds. Facilities will be cleaned each day. Campers are encouraged to use facilities one household at a time and respect/distance from other campers.
Drinking fountains in campgrounds and day use areas will be available. Campers are advised to use the drinking fountains to fill clean containers and to not use drinking fountains for direct consumption. Drinking fountains will be cleaned daily.
Sanitary dump stations are open.
Group camping is allowed at outdoor sites with a capacity of 50 people or less, with reservations.
Know before you go
- Plan ahead. Make reservations and purchase permits and other items online or by phone before you arrive on site. Cash-less and minimal-contact transactions are becoming a common operating procedure to avoid lines and person-to-person interactions. This will help protect you, other visitors, and staff. Property offices are currently closed and staff will not be available for counter service at this time.
- Socially distance yourself. Just like at any other public space, maintain social distancing of at least six feet between individuals from different households, in particular at entrances, exits, and locations where people tend to congregate such as trailheads, kiosks, restrooms and shelters. To ensure that social distancing can be maintained, it is best to set up your campsite—sleeping, campfire and eating areas—to maximize distance from adjacent campsites.
- Be self-sufficient. Be prepared to be as self-contained and self-sufficient as possible. For example, arrive prepared with your own soap, surface disinfectant supplies, hand sanitizer, paper towels/hand towels and toilet paper just to be sure. Bring personal supplies (food, spare toiletries, sunscreen, insect repellant) to minimize the need to travel once you arrive at the property. Bring large containers to minimize trips for water.
- Recreate with your household. Restrict the use of your individual campsite/campfire to only those in your immediate household.
- Plan ahead for your visit. Be prepared for lower levels of service and public contact. Ensure that you have maps of the area downloaded or printed before you leave home, in case they are not available on site. Many programs and facilities will be canceled or closed, so check online resources for updated information about rules changes and closures so you know what to expect when you arrive.
- Follow the rules. Follow all campground rules and instructions, whether given in writing or verbally, that protect your safety and the safety of others. These rules and instructions will likely include facility-specific directions.
- Leave amenities such as picnic tables as you find them – they may be spaced to facilitate social distancing.
- Follow directional signage (e.g. wait your turn and capacity limits – intended to promote social distancing). The inability to follow directions can lead to the closure of facilities and locations at properties.