MADISON – As fall colors near peak in northern Wisconsin, state officials want the public to know that state park, trail, forest, wildlife and other properties all remain open for public recreation and enjoyment.
While the federal government shutdown has closed federal properties in Wisconsin, such as the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the Chequamegon and Nicolet National Forests and some national wildlife refuges, all state, county and local recreational areas remain open in Wisconsin.
“Fall is one of the best times of the year to get out and enjoy the 1.5 million acres of state owned land in Wisconsin,” says Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. “We welcome visitors to our state parks and forests…climb one of our observation towers and take in the beautiful fall colors, bike or hike our state trails, and hunt or fish on our many state wildlife and fisheries areas.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed the national refuge portion of Horicon Marsh, but the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and Horicon Marsh Visitors Center remain open and the center has numerous events planned that will go ahead as scheduled.
The only cancellations to date are scheduled work days on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail because this program is a state, federal and nonprofit partnership and the National Park Service runs the volunteer program that helps protect volunteers in the case of injury or damages while working on projects.
People looking for places to enjoy the outdoors in Wisconsin can visit the DNR website dnr.wi.gov and search for keywords “explore outdoors,” where they can find state properties by location and then activities. For a complete list of upcoming events and programs at state properties, search the DNR website for keywords “get outdoors.”
DNR Office of Communications. DNR Spokesperson: Bill Cosh (608) 267-2773