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Wisconsin state park campgrounds reopen with changes

Wisconsin state park campgrounds reopen with changes Photo: Glenn Kellahan/WDIO-TV, file

Updated: June 10, 2020 04:38 PM

Campgrounds in Wisconsin State Parks reopened Wednesday, but campers will need to take several extra steps before they arrive due to the ongoing pandemic.

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Restrooms are open but park offices are still closed, so campers must reserve their sites, order annual park permits in advance, and buy firewood from nearby vendors. They should also be ready to take their garbage and recycling when they leave because many parks do not have garbage or recycling bins.

The limitations didn't seem to be stopping interest in camping: more than a dozen sites at Pattison State Park were already reserved when a WDIO photographer visited on Wednesday morning, and the reservation system indicated there were also occupied sites at Amnicon Falls, Big Bay, and Copper Falls state parks.

ARRIVAL PROCESS: Park offices remain closed and campers no longer check in when they arrive. Campers must make reservations online or by phone (1-888-947-2757) and then go directly to their site, and staff members will monitor campground occupancy. Same-day campsite reservations are now available.

ADMISSION FEE: Day passes are not currently being sold and all campers and park visitors must have an annual sticker. They are available for purchase online or by phone (1-888-305-0398) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Visitors can also display a proof of purchase if their sticker has not yet arrived by mail.

FIREWOOD: Campgrounds are not currently selling firewood. Campers can bring their own firewood but must purchase it within ten miles of the campground, and it must be heat-treated or aged to kill pests and tree diseases.

CLOSED FACILITIES: Park shelters, nature centers, playgrounds, concession stands, and towers remain closed. Group camping, shelters, and amphitheaters will be closed through June 30.

In Minnesota, most state park campgrounds have reopened and remaining parks are slated to welcome campers beginning June 15.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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