The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) collaborated to create new outdoor recreation guidelines for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These guidelines apply to both recreational facilities and the public and are based on Gov. Walz’s emergency executive order allowing for safe outdoor recreation. Following these guidelines will help protect Minnesotans from this health threat. The public can enjoy the outdoors while doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

What follows are some guidelines the public should observe whenever outdoors:

• Practice social distancing (stay at least six feet from people from other households). This isn’t just for parks and trails – it is also essential at boat launches, fishing piers and hunting lands, as well as anytime you leave home.

• Stay as close to home as possible. This is not the time to be traveling long distances to recreate. Cherished outdoor traditions further from home will be there for the public at a later date, after the public health situation has eased.

• Do not host or attend gatherings with people who aren’t members of your immediate household. This includes gatherings like outdoor cookouts or barbecues, because those types of gatherings could spread COVID-19.

• Explore the range of nearby public lands available to you. 

• Those who arrive at a park, water access site or other public recreation land and see that it is busy are being encouraged to choose a different option. This will allow the public to maintain social distancing and reduce impacts on staff and resources. Also, consider visiting at off-peak times, typically early or late in the day.

• Do not carpool to outdoor recreational activities with people other than your immediate household, and do not share equipment.

Learn more on the DNR Web site at

- Image courtesy of the DNR Web site