Grab your tent, a fishing pole, and some bug spray. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reopening the state's campgrounds beginning June 1. After the relaxation of the governor's Stay-at-Home directive, campgrounds will reopen but it will be a phased in approach.

In a news release from the DNR, Commissioner Sarah Strommen proclaims, "We look forward to welcoming overnight visitors back to DNR-managed camping and lodging facilities in June. Our staff are already out conducting assessments of campsite conditions and preparing to receive visitors."

The release provides a timetable for different levels of opening. Friday approximately 75 remote campsites open for Memorial Day reservations. On Monday, June 1 the DNR expects to open about 20-30 campgrounds inside parks and forests. Another 20 or more should open by June 8. The remaining sites should be open by June 15.

The DNR says pools and beaches will remain closed at state parks. Visitor centers, amphitheaters, groups tours, and interpretive programs will not be offered.

The DNR encourages campers to minimize stops as they travel to campsites and attempt to bring everything needed with you rather than picking up supplies along the way. For safety advice, visit the COVID-19 page on the DNR's website.

Even for those not camping, state parks and recreation areas are open. Strommen says, "We know that Minnesotans are embracing the outdoors right now, and Memorial Day weekend is an important date on the calendar for family time. We want Minnesotans to know they can get outdoors, have fun and do it safely.."

For those hitting the water over Memorial Day weekend, remember to use life jackets and heed the rules regarding exotic species.


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