Evers orders 40 state parks closed; High Cliff included

The Brillion News

MADISON - Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Thursday, April 9, ordered the closure of 40 State Parks, State Forests, and State Recreational Areas

Evers directed the Department of Natural Resources to close several state parks to protect health and safety.


Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and out of an abundance of caution to protect public health and safety and help flatten the curve, the following Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas will close at the end of the day Thursday, April 9, and will remain closed beginning Friday, April 10, until further notice:


Northeast Region - High Cliff State Park

Southeast Region - Big Foot Beach State Park, Harrington Beach State Park, Havenwoods State Forest, Kohler-Andrae State Park, Kettle Moraine State Forest Lapham Peak, Loew Lake, Mukwonago River, Northern Unit, Pike Lake, Southern Unit, Lakeshore State Park, and Richard Bong State Recreational Area

South Central Region - Aztalan State Park, Belmont Mound State Park, Blue Mound State Park, Cadiz Springs State Recreational Area, Capital Springs State Recreational Area, Cross Plains State Park, Devil’s Lake State Park, Fenley State Recreational Area, Governor Dodge State Park, Governor Nelson State Park, Lake Kegonsa State Park, Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Mackenzie Center, Mirror Lake State Park, Natural Bridge State Park, Nelson Dewey State Park, New Glarus Woods State Park, Rocky Arbor State Park, Sauk Prairie State Recreational Area, Tower Hill State Park, Wyalusing State Park, Yellowstone Lake State Park, 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

Others areas, not included in the list above, remain open to the public.

Despite waiving fees, closing state park offices, visitor centers, and non-essential buildings to help minimize the transmission of COVID-19 at parks, the situation has reached a point where public safety in the parks and surrounding communities takes precedence over keeping these locations open.

The Governor's office said that if the public does not follow social distancing guidelines and vandalizes property, more state parks may have to close.

There was a recent incident at High Cliff State Park where a visitor fell from a cliff. Emergency crews had to cut through locked gates to get to the man, who was not seriously injured.

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