Chesterton Tribune



Most DNR campgrounds and facilities reopen today

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Beginning today, most Indiana Department of Natural Resources campgrounds, property-operated cabins and camper cabins, inns, and restaurants will re-open as part of Phase III of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Back on Track Plan.

Guests with a current campsite or property-operated cabin reservation for Sunday night, May 24, have been contacted with a message by phone or email concerning their options. As of 10 a.m. today, new reservations for the weekend can be made by visiting

New reservations for Memorial Day weekend will require a three-day minimum, per DNR’s standard policy for holiday weekends.

Camping reservations which were previously canceled, regardless of the cancellation date, unfortunately cannot be reinstated, DNR said. Confirmation letters from any three-night Memorial Day weekend reservations for 2020 made earlier in the year are no longer valid. Holders of these letters whose reservations were previously cancelled will need to make new reservations in order to secure a campsite for the weekend.

Campgrounds at Glendale and Willow Slough fish and wildlife areas are also open and available on a first-come/first-served basis. The campground at J.E. Roush Lake Fish and Wildlife Area is currently flooded. Those wishing to camp at J.E. Roush Lake FWA should call (260) 468-2165 for updates.

The Garrison Restaurant at Fort Harrison State Park, located in Marion County, will remain closed to inside dining until June 1, but will begin menu-only patio seating on Sunday, May 24.

Swimming beaches will open on Saturday, May 23. Public outdoor park pools will not be open this weekend.

Park offices remain closed but lake permits, horse tags, and off-road cycling permits can be purchased at entrance gates or at

Youth, rally, and group camps remain closed. Playgrounds, shelters, recreation buildings, and fire towers remain closed as well.

“The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is committed to ensuring that our guests and staff continue to have safe and memorable outdoor experiences at our state parks, state forests, fish and wildlife areas, nature preserves, and state recreation areas in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19),” DNR said. “All facilities will be following COVID-19 social-distancing and cleaning requirements. We ask that our guests work with us to do the same.”

DNR: Don’t be stupid

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is urging folks to practice responsible recreation at its fish and wildlife areas (FWAs) this Memorial Day weekend.

“Responsible recreation means that everyone does their part to keep FWAs healthy, beautiful, and safe for Hoosiers and Indiana's fish and wildlife,” DNR said. “While at FWAs this weekend, remember to bring a bag to carry out your trash. Enjoy the outdoors safely by practicing social distancing, parking only in designated areas, driving 30 miles per hour or less on property roads, and only using designated shooting ranges for target or recreational shooting.”

"Planning ahead is another way to ensure that you have a fun and safe time while enjoying the outdoors,” DNR added. “Along with any activity-specific gear and a trash bag, remember to bring water, hand sanitizer, soap, and paper towels with you. Know where you're going and think about an alternative location if your initial destination is crowded.”



Posted 5/22/2020




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