Beautiful view of Devils Lake State Park in Wisconsin.

Gov. Tony Evers to Close 40 State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas

Stay safe, Wisconsin.

In an effort to flatten the curve and reduce crowds, litter and vandalism, Gov. Tony Evers announced he will be closing 40 state parks, forests and recreational areas at the end of the day Thursday. These locations will stay closed until further notice.

While not all locations across the state will be closing, if the public doesn’t follow social distancing guidelines and continues to vandalize properties, more parks across the state will face potential closure.

“We know there are benefits to getting outdoors. By not doing this would put people’s lives at risk,” said DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole. “With the weather warming we are seeing increases in visitors and a myriad of challenges surrounding social distancing. In order to the protect the public, this is a necessary step.” 

Lakeshore State Park along Milwaukee’s shoreline is notably one of the parks listed to close. 

While outdoor activity is considered essential, public officials are now urging those who wish to take a break outside to do so in their local neighborhoods while maintaining proper social distancing.

The properties will still be open to turkey hunters during the season (April 15 – May 26).

List of Closures


High Cliff State Park


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


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



Morgan is a 2020 MilMag intern. She's Minnesota born, but has a Milwaukee heart. An Alverno College undergraduate and will be graduating in December 2020 . Follow her on social media @morgan_lemner