Photo courtesy Travel Wisconsin.

MADISON – To help with overcrowding at Wisconsin’s most popular parks, the Department of Natural Resources encourages state park visitors to explore Wisconsin’s hidden gems off the beaten path.

Search for destinations by location, distance, property type or activity by using the Explore Outdoors tool. Check out Travel Wisconsin’s list of Wisconsin state parks perfect for exploring here

With capacity limits in place for select properties since May 1, some of those properties have seen an overwhelming number of visitors, the DNR said. Many state parks are home to rare plant species and unique, but sensitive, landscapes or terrain which make them particularly vulnerable to high visitation numbers. 

To maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff, and to protect the natural resources found on state properties the department is using capacity closures as a tool to limit overcrowding, keep facilities clean, adequately maintain trails and promote social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19.

As a reminder, park stickers and trail passes are required to visit state parks and trails. Annual stickers are available for purchase online or with credit card by phone 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week by calling toll free 888-305-0398.