WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — Park admission fees, fishing licenses, and trail pass requirements will be waived June 6 to 7, according to the Wisconsin DNR.
The DNR is hosting the state's 8th annual Free Fun Weekend. The department says it's to encourage Wisconsinites to take advantage of and enjoy the state's great outdoors.
uring the Wisconsin Free Fun Weekend, capacity limits will remain in effect at some properties to limit overcrowding. Visitors are asked to practice social distancing, avoid congregating in large groups, use hand sanitizer, and wear masks when social distancing is difficult.
Department officials say all state parks have updated hours of operation from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M. All group, family, and indoor group campsites will remain closed through June 7. DNR says events and reservations after June 7 are currently under review.
The Department also states facilities such as towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, entrance stations, and concession buildings will continue to remain closed to the public. A limited number of day-use restrooms at park properties will reopen for public use beginning June 3.
DNR staff remind visitors to take their garbage and recycling home with them as most state parks, forests, and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins. The National Parks Service adds that people should follow the Leave No Trace principles to help protect these lands for generations to come.
The DNR stated that people may fish without a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps, but all other fishing regulations apply. This includes bag and length limits. They say due to public health risks loaner equipment will not be available. Additionally, several fishing clinics have been canceled for health and safety reasons.
Trail passes will not be required to use all linear and trail trails, including the ATV trails says the DNR. Resident and non-resident all-terrain vehicle operators do not need a trail pass to ride state ATV trails.
The Department reminds everyone of several safety tips while enjoying the Free Fun Weekend:
- Wear a lifejacket at all times when fishing from a boat, kayak, canoe, or paddleboard
- Use boat lights after sunset
- Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during an ATV ride or operating a boat
- Wear a helmet and protective clothing such as eyewear, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt while riding an ATV
- All children under the age of 18 MUST have a minimum Department of Transportation standard motorcycle or ATV helmet - bicycle helmets are NOT legal
- Keep your speed in mind as weather and terrain conditions vary and change
The DNR says everyone participating in the Free Fun Weekend is encouraged to join the Wisconsin State Park's OutWiGo initiative by tagging your photos with #OutWiGo.