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Most state camping areas will be open by Monday

 

June 12, 2020

Jana Peterson

Pine Knot News editor Jana Peterson and her family visited a state campground near Finland, Minnesota in 2019.

Minnesota DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began reopening campgrounds this month at state parks, state forests and recreation areas in a phased approach this month.

Camping is allowed now, but not all campgrounds or campsites are open. Dispersed camping and remote camping are allowed for members of a single household.

Nearly all state forest campgrounds, and 38 campgrounds within state parks and recreation areas, are now open with limited services. Some lodging options, such as camper cabins and yurts, are also beginning to reopen. In general, visitors can expect that water systems will be turned on, grounds will be maintained, and vault/portable toilets will be available.

Some services may not be ready early on, such as showers and ranger stations.

The DNR timeline has the majority of the remaining campgrounds opening in state parks, recreation areas, and forests on June 15. Additional services, including fish cleaning buildings and some nature stores will also reopen at reduced capacities.

The DNR will leave the following facilities and amenities closed until further notice: beaches, pond-pools, housekeeping cabins, visitor centers, group centers, fire towers, large-group facilities, group tours and other scheduled interpretive programs.

Plan ahead

Campers should plan ahead, make reservations and buy permits online before arriving at the park. This helps protect campers, other visitors and staff by minimizing person-to-person contact. If you buy a vehicle permit online, record your confirmation number and place it on the dashboard of your car.

Campers should come prepared with their own hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, paper towels, toilet paper and other supplies for use at their campsites and available bathrooms.

Minnesotans are encouraged to use the following guidelines to minimize potential points of virus transmission:

• Travel as directly to your destination as possible, and minimize stops along the way.

• Attempt to bring all needed supplies with you.

• If you do need to stop for gas or supplies, wear a cloth face covering.

• Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching common surfaces (gas pumps, door handles, shared bathrooms, etc.).

• Do not travel if sick.

Visitors are advised to check the DNR's COVID-19 website at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.html for the latest information.

 
 

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