An update of what DNR-managed facilities are open and closed

Part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been encouragement for people to get into the outdoors.

That remains true even after Gov. Tim Walz’s State At Home Executive Order 20-20, but people who do recreate outside are reminded to do so in a safe manner while being mindful of staying in small groups and practicing social distancing.

The governor’s stay-at-home order allows people to be outdoors taking advantage of activities such at walking, running, fishing and hunting, but the Minnesota DNR urges those who do these things to practice them close to home. Below is an update on what is open and what is closed right now as it pertains to DNR-managed facilities in the state.

What is open?

  • Minnesota’s waters. You can fish if you have a license. Normal seasons and regulations apply.

  • Hunting seasons. There are no changes to upcoming hunting seasons. Normal regulations apply.

  • State parks. Bathrooms, vault toilets and shower buildings currently open will remain open. Other facilities are closed.

  • Public land. Wildlife management areas, state forests, and Scientific and Natural Areas are open for recreation. Campgrounds are closed.

  • Public water accesses. State-managed public accesses are open, though the availability of amenities, such as docks, are contingent upon seasonal maintenance.

What is closed?

The following DNR-managed facilities:

  • Campgrounds, group camps, remote and dispersed camping at all state parks, state forests, and state recreation areas.

  • Camper cabins

  • Yurts

  • Overnight lodging facilities

  • Group centers, trail centers and other ancillary buildings

  • Visitor centers

  • State park contact stations

Cancellation and modification fees are waived during this time.
Facilities and lands not administered by the DNR may have restrictions. Please check with local authorities.


How to do business with the DNR

The public is encouraged to do business with the DNR online or through phone. This includes buying or renewing licenses online with upcoming seasons such as fishing and turkey hunting on the horizon. Licenses can be purchased at or by phone at 1-888-665-4236.

The entire COVID-19 response page for the DNR can be found at .

Other questions can be asked by calling (888) 646-6367 or by emailing the DNR’s information center at

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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