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Washington County State Lake to Reopen

Governor JB Pritzker announced last week that select state parks, including Washington County State Recreation Area near Nashville, will reopen for visitors on a limited basis on May 1.

The parks will be open to allow for Illinois residents to engage in some outdoor activities. Visitors will still be required to comply with social distancing guidelines and other COVID-19 best practices.

Site visitor centers, campgrounds, playgrounds, beaches and concessions will remain closed.  There will be no shelter reservations, interpretive educational programs, or special events until further notice.

Visitors to reopened IDNR sites should bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) and face coverings. Additional health and safety guidelines include:

• Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others;

• Please stay home if you are sick or feeling any symptoms, such as fever, coughing, troubled breathing, and/or other flu-like symptoms;

• Visit alone or with members of your household;

• Stay local; visit parks that are closest to where you live;

• If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, please move to another area or return another time/day to visit;

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper arm/elbow.

The reopened sites will be open daily from sunrise until sunset beginning May 1. Visitors will be allowed to engage in activities such as wildlife observation, hiking, biking, equestrian use, fishing (both from the bank and boats) and mushroom collecting.

To ensure the safety of all visitors, hunting including spring turkey hunting remains suspended at all IDNR sites.

IDNR sites are monitored by site staff and IDNR Conservation Police. For assistance or to report violations, visitors can call the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement at 217-785-0075 or contact Conservation Police in the region.  Contact information is available on the IDNR website.

For health questions about COVID-19, call the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email

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