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We're Open: Wisconsin State Park campsites

We're Open: Wisconsin State Park campsites.jpg
Posted at 7:11 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 20:11:07-04

STURGEON BAY, Wis (NBC 26) -- Tonight's we're open takes us to Door County as state park campsites have once again opened for business.

But while family campsites are once again opening there are a handful of changes that campers should prepare for.

A trip to Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay is one way to release some of the stresses that have been pent up the last few months.

"Lately you can't do the things you are used to doing, so it's nice to finally get back and do a routine thing," says Brad Allen who is camping with his wife Linda.

The Allens jumped on the chance to get out of their house on Wednesday and spend their week camping on the first day the state park campgrounds opened back up. But the couple has noticed that some things are a bit different.

"They are not selling firewood at the parks now at all. So you have to make sure to purchase it 10 miles within the park," says Linda Allen.

And that, well it's just the beginning of some of the temporary changes according to Park Superintendent Erin Brown Stender.

"We're certainly running with some limited operations."

Brown Stender says campers and visitors will also discover upon arrival that all of the buildings including the observation tower, concession stand, nature center and playgrounds too are closed. But that's not saying there isn't anything to do.

"Our boat launch is very popular in the park, fishing from the shore is popular. We also have a number of trails for hiking and biking," says Brown Stender.

And for those who do work up a sweat, water spouts are available for filling jugs but you can't use the faucet. And bathrooms and showers are once again available but, unfortunately, bike and kayak rentals are off the table for now.

"Our park offices and our concessions buildings and park store do remain closed at this time," says Brown Stender.

These are some of the changes that you should expect if you're visiting a state park. And keep in mind you need a reservation and a park pass before showing up or else you can't live the life of the Allens who are about to take it all in.

"At least here at Potawatomi, it's sparse. It's kinda weird cause usually there's always some campers coming or going so I feel like we're in virgin territory. It's kinda cool we're the first ones," says Brad Allen.