Chicago outdoors and coronavirus: Forest preserves, Wisconsin notes, Alsip launch, outdoorsy face masks

Some expected updates because of coronavirus on access at forest preserves around Chicago, as well as Wisconsin notes, an Alsip boat launch update and an option for arty outdoorsy face masks.

SHARE Chicago outdoors and coronavirus: Forest preserves, Wisconsin notes, Alsip launch, outdoorsy face masks
Ken Gortowski is selling arty outdoorsy face masks, including this eye-of-the-smallmouth one. Credit: Provided by Ken Gortowski

Ken Gortowski is selling arty outdoorsy face masks, including this eye-of-the-smallmouth one.

Provided by Ken Gortowski

Last week, one of my sister-in-laws, a retired nurse, shipped a bunch of face masks she made for our family. So I thought I was set until Ken Gortowski tweeted Sunday afternoon a photo of a series of face masks he was working on.

I picked the fish, but you can choose anything you like that I have on the site. Looks like this is going to be a new norm so why not customize things a bit.

I first knew Gortowski as a teaching angler on the Fox River, but grew to love his artistic and photographic skills even more than his fishing insights.

I think he nailed it on that “new norm” assessment. Knowing that, I figured I need that eye-of-the-smallmouth one (my description not his), then ordered it. Click here to know more about his arty face masks.

* * *

Wisconsin is rather confusing to outsiders and residents alike as to what will or will not be allowed as Opening Day (yes it deserves caps) is May 2.

Last week, Kurt JusticeatKurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis., emailed a short update that ended with these heart-ripping lines:

With latest news of stay at home order for Wisconsin being extended, not sure how, or if, opener will occur. We will post updates as we know more.

From an Illinois stand point, I find the directives or suggestions hard to divine on what is or is not allowed on visitors coming from a distance and from out of state to Wisconsin.

Click here for the Wisconsin DNR’s notes on Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order. Click here for the extended (until May 26) and tweaked Safer at Home Order.

Click here for the 40 State Parks, Forests and Recreation Areas closed earlier this month, but they are open for turkey hunters.

A reminder on the Wisconsin/Michigan boundary waters: No motorboat, jet ski or similar craft is allowed in the boundary waters with Michigan. Click here for more on that.

* * *

The Alsip boat launch on the Cal-Sag has been open 24 hours a day since April 1. The buildings are closed.

* * *

On Friday, the Forest Preserves of Cook County tweeted:

We have closed five more parking lots through May 11 due to COVID-19 concerns: Busse Forest Elk Pasture & Caldwell Woods because of overcrowding in relatively small lots. Cherry Hill, Dan Ryan Woods-South & Arie Crown Forest because of recurring problems with groups congregating.

I was not surprised. There has been too much of a flippant attitude toward the basics of not congregating and social distancing in parks and other public outdoor spaces.

Here is the general list of closures for FPCC (and please note that dozens of lakes are open for fishing):

Location Closures Before visiting, always check if a location is open on our web map or by visiting the location’s page on our website. Closure notices will appear in both places. All public restrooms (both indoor and portable) are closed. Buildings, grounds, trails and bathrooms at Nature Centers are closed to the public until May 11. Forest Preserves General Headquarters, Caldwell Woods Warming Shelter, the Volunteer Resource Center and Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center building and nature play area are closed to the public through May 11. Parking lots at Arie Crown Forest, Busse Forest Elk Pasture, Caldwell Woods and Dan Ryan Woods-South are closed through May 11. The Swallow Cliff Stairs and parking lots at Swallow Cliff Woods-North, Swallow Cliff Woods-South, Cherry Hill Woods and Teason’s Woods are closed to visitors through May 11. The spring trout season opening day—originally scheduled for April 4—is postponed indefinitely. The parking lots and fishing lakes at Axehead Lake, Belleau Lake, Green Lake Woods, Horsetail Lake, and Sag Quarries are closed indefinitely, starting March 30. Parking lots at Chippewa Woods and Iroquois Woods are closed as well. All campgrounds are closed through May 11. Golf courses, boating centers and the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course will not be open until at least April 30. The Rolling Knolls Disc Golf Course is closed through May 11. Some winter land management closures have been extended until May 11.

For the overall listing of what is open, closed or restricted with the FPCC, click here.

* * *

Here are the latest updates from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County:

Latest updates: (Last updated 4/20/20) 4/20/20:Parking lots closed at the following preserves: Fullersburg Woods: Graue Mill parking lot Herrick Lake: South lot off Herrick Road McDowell Grove: back parking lot Spring Creek Reservoir: East lot Wood Dale Grove: North lot 4/7/20:The Bluff Road parking lot at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien is closed to alleviate congestion and large crowds in the area. Rocky Glen Waterfall is closed. 4/5/20:Parking is limited to DuPage residents only at the following preserves: Waterfall Glen: street parking prohibited along Bluff Road Fullersburg Woods Blackwell Herrick Lake Hidden Lake Revised forest preserve hours: Open one hour after sunrise until sunset

Click here for a full release on what is closed, open or restricted.

* * *

As to the Forest Preserve District of Will County, preserves and trails are generally open. Shoreline fishing is allowed, but no boating, kayaking or canoeing is allowed. Parking is closed, so the only access is by walking or biking. Click here for details on what is open, closed or restricted.

* * *

Lake County Forest Preserves has its preserves open. For details on what is open, closed or restricted, click here.

The Latest
Before the game, the Sky honored Bird with a pregame video and a pair of custom-made Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.
The awards recognize “journalism that best covers the Black experience or addresses issues affecting the worldwide Black community.”
The Cubs claimed Reyes off waivers from the Guardians and optioned Frank Schwindel to Triple-A Iowa to clear space on the active roster.