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DNR closes Tippy Dam Recreation Area due to COVID-19 concerns

The recreation area has been experiencing an surge of visitors since Whitmer's stay home order was enacted leading to the area's closure.
Credit: Pure Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan DNR has closed Tippy Dam Recreation Area in Manistee, effective immediately, after the park experienced an increase in visitors and visitors not following social distancing guidelines.

The drastic increase in visitors includes people travelling from all areas of the state. The nonessential travel could increase the spread of COVID-19. In order to protect visitors, staff, and nearby communities the recreation area was closed. The south entrance, which is on land managed by Consumers Energy will also be closed.

The closure is a result of the Land Use Order of the Director Amendment No. 4 which was signed by DNR Director Dan Eichinger on March 31.

Anyone entering Tippy Dam Recreation Area by vehicle, bike, or foot may receive a civil infraction with fines up to $500.

Currently, all other state parks, recreation areas, trails, and boating access sites remain open to help provide local options to go outdoors.

Social distancing guidelines must be followed for state managed lands to stay open.

"The concern is twofold: residents traveling long distances and unintentionally spreading COVID-19 and visitors congregating too closely," said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

Olson also said, "In order to continue to keep state parks open, we urge everyone to follow effective social distancing practices, including only visiting state parks locally and avoiding high-traffic areas within parks."

Before going to any state managed land, visit the DNR's COVID-19 response page to check for closure and updates.

Please keep the following guidelines in mind before visiting state managed land:

  • Go out only if you’re feeling healthy.
  • Long-distance travel is discouraged unless it is essential.
  • Individuals must maintain a minimum of 6 feet between themselves and people of other households. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If those aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • When driving, keep windows slightly open to provide air flow. Do not drive with people who don’t live in your household.
  • If the parking is full when attempting to visit a park, recreation area, boating access site or trailhead, leave and choose a different location.

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