Tips for Getting Outside Safely in Southwest Wisconsin:

Outdoor activity is as essential as ever amid the COVID 19 pandemic and the Safer-At-Home order has also defined it as such. So long as you practice the social distancing requirements such activities as walking, biking, hiking or running are allowed. Due to overcrowding and the public’s failure to comply with social distancing the Governor ordered closure of 40 state parks, recreational areas and forests, mostly in southern Wisconsin. In order to continue to help flatten the curve and keep our communities safe, please stay as local as you can with all your explorations to minimize your impact on the potential spread of this virus.


That being said, we offer these tips for getting outside safely: 


Find your public land: Plenty of good spots are still open. Be smart. If the parking area looks full, move on. Do not trespass to get where you want to go. Savor any hidden gems and keep them extra quiet by keeping off social media. DNR Public Lands


Hit the Trail: Many trails are open but their popular access points are not. Do a bit more research to figure out where you can get on a trail and be sure to practice proper social distancing if you encounter other trail users. 


DNR Trail maps

Ice Age Trail Alliance


Ride the Water: A great way to stay appropriately away from others is to hop in a boat! Kayaking and canoeing can be a wonderful way to see hidden corners and beautiful scenery. Our favorite resource is the Miles Paddled website.


Cruise the Road: Go for a drive and stretch your legs on a rural country road. Wear bright colors and stay alert to potential vehicles. Bring a bag and pick up some trash. (Not recommended for our littlest explorers.) Or hop on a bike, trike or other wheeled-wonder and take in the fresh air as you cruise. The WI DOT has some nice resources on best roads to bike.


Some of our land trust partners have provided great tips for getting outside and visiting their properties as well. Gathering Waters houses the list of Wisconsin member land trusts.



South Central Region 

Closed State Lands as of April 10, 2020:

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

Dells of The Wisconsin River State Natural Area

Devil’s Lake State Park

Fenley State Recreational Area

Gibraltar Rock State Natural 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

Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area

Pewits Nest State Natural Area

Rocky Arbor State Park

Sauk Prairie State Recreational Area

Tower Hill State Park

Wyalusing State Park

Yellowstone Lake State Park

Driftless Area Land Conservancy

206 S. Iowa Street (map)

Dodgeville, Wisconsin 53533

Email us

(608) 930-3252

Driftless Area Land Conservancy is an accredited non-profit land trust in Southwest Wisconsin. All images and text on this site are property of Driftless Area Land Conservancy and/or are being used with permission from the authors and photographers. Please do not share or distribute text, images or any site content without expressed, written permission. We take your privacy seriously and will not distribute or sell any information gathered here on contact, registration, volunteer or donation forms. 

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