UNDATED --While certain programs and events are postponed or canceled due to concerns over the novel coronavirus, Minnesota’s state parks are open to the public for some exercise, sightseeing and fresh air.

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources say they will be postponing, adjusting, and canceling a variety of public events, including open houses, safety education training, interpretive naturalist programs and other meetings.

“Public engagement on DNR issues and projects is a top priority,” according to a statement on their website. “As such, the DNR is exploring a range of digital options to support public meetings and other critical engagement opportunities.”

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Parks roughly an hour or less from the St. Cloud area include:

The DNR recommends checking with individual parks for the latest status on facilities before visiting.

State parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, and other public parkland will remain open to the public. State park visitor centers, contact stations, and other buildings will be closed. Bathrooms, vault toilets and shower buildings that are currently open will remain open, with increased cleaning protocols.

For the time being, state parks naturalist programs are canceled as officials work to determine which programs are compatible with social distancing guidelines recommended by the MDH and CDC.

Visitors are asked to pay through self-pay and informational kiosks located at each facility, or buy park passes through the online portal before they visit.

Visit the DNR's website or call 866-857-2757 to access the campsite reservation system.

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