Michigan state parks reopened on Monday, June 22 after a three-month delay caused by COVID-19.

“It feels great to finally get out of the house and go camping,” one camper at Bay City State Park said on Monday.

The state park welcomed a dozen campers Monday morning.

“We’ll welcome our campers of the 2020 season finally. We’re glad their back. It’s just a little different process this year, but we’ll get through it,” said Rich Fenner, manager of the Bay City State Park. “We’re trying to have people pay with credit cards and stuff like that so we’re not interacting as much with them.”

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is taking several factors into account and taking more time to reopen campgrounds. The DNR is ensuring staffing levels, training, and facilities are ready. So far, campers have responded well.

“Very well, very well. They’re all, so far, wearing their masks when they come in the office. We’re trying to have one person at a time. It’s old news to a lot of us. We’ve been hearing this over and over on what we have to do,” Fenner said.

But campers are making the most of it.

“We’ll play some cornhole, bike riding, things like that. Just enjoying ourselves, something we couldn’t do for the last three months,” said Mike Zielesch, camper.

Park visitors need a recreation passport for entry, which costs $12 when renewing your license plate or $17 at park entrances.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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