State parks open, campgrounds closed for Memorial Day Weekend

BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says it will not be taking any new campsite reservations until after June 1st.

Star Lake campground in Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, 1997.

“We’re busy leading up to this and generally this is a very busy weekend,” said Chris Pedretti, the DNR Business Operations Sections Chief. “Unfortunately, this year, we’ve certainly had to adapt like everyone around the state.”

Pedretti says because bathrooms, showers, and other facilities are needed to operate campgrounds.

“In years past on Memorial Day Weekend, we’ve run about 100 % capacity for camping throughout the property and with over 6,000 camp sites around the state, that’s a lot of camping that’s going on for the weekend,” said Pedretti.

Financially, the DNR is losing out on revenue made from camping on Memorial Day Weekend.

“Certainly, like anything that’s happened over the past few months here is impacting the parks as well,” said Pedretti. “We definitely have to think about that and consider that but safety comes first and then we’ll deal with the financial implications after that.”

If Wisconsin residents want to enjoy the state parks, the DNR is reminding folks annual park stickers must be purchased over the phone or online as the facilities are closed to visitors.

Annual stickers will be available for purchase with credit card by phone 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. seven days a week by calling toll free: 1-888-305-0398.
Annual passes are NOT available for purchase at individual properties.

Visitors must have an annual admission sticker adhered to their vehicle or proof of purchase for entry.

Once proof of purchase is shown, visitors must place proof of purchase on the dash of the windshield while parked within the boundary of the property.

Click HERE for more information on state park guidelines.