Reasons to head outdoors keep growing

From fishing opportunities to seeing and hearing songbirds, there are plenty of reasons to head outside.

Wisconsin State Parks and Trails will remain open to the public. In light of COVID-19, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to receive the most up-to-date information and will adjust operations as conditions change. We will continue to monitor on-the-ground circumstances each day to determine if park closures become necessary.

Recent guidance from the Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends canceling or postponing gatherings of 10 people or more to help protect Wisconsinites, visitors and staff from the spread of COVID-19, particularly those who are most vulnerable to infection and severe disease.

Natural bridge at Natural Bridge State Park, Wisconsin's largest natural arch. Photo credit: DNR

We recognize that spending time outdoors benefits both physical and mental health which is why we would like to provide this virtual update.

With that, a few far northern counties still have snow up to a foot or more, but all snowmobile and most ski trails are now closed for the season.

Lake conditions are continually changing, and with warmer weather in the forecast, ice safety is critical. As an alternative, early trout fishing season is open, and current early spring weather conditions are favorable for pursuing trout.

There has been an increase in baby animal sightings, including fox, raccoon and squirrel kits. There has been an influx of songbirds with the warming weather, including red-winged blackbirds, ruby and golden-crowned kinglets, eastern bluebirds, eastern phoebes and our summer resident turkey vultures. Skunk cabbage is emerging out of the marsh and wetland areas.