MI National Forests close recreational facilities, restrooms

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — National Forests in Michigan are shutting down recreational facilities and restrooms to follow social distancing guidelines and to ensure health safety, the United States Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

The USDA says recreational facilities and restrooms at the Hiawatha, Huron-Manistee and Ottawa National Forests will shutdown indefinitely. In addition, trash pick-up will be suspended.

Overnight use is shut down at the Hiawatha and Ottawa forests and campfires are prohibited, to reduce the risk of first responders being called in the event of a wildfire.

The USDA asks that those that recreate to:

  • Not visit the forest when ill or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on personal hygiene and social distancing.
  • Take trash with you when you leave to not harm wildlife or attract predators.
  • Search for less crowded areas and avoid forests during high-use periods.

More information can be found on the USDA’s website, by calling 231.775.2421 or by emailing SM.FS.HMNF@usda.gov.