Coldwater Lake which straddles both Cowlitz and Skamania Counties.

Returning to the Great Outdoors

Beginning May 5, restrictions on some outdoor recreational activities will be lifted. Getting active outside is great for our physical and mental health. Starting May 5, we’ll be able to return to fishing, hunting, golfing, and day use at state parks and public lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Other activities such as public gatherings, events, team sports, and camping, among other things, will not be resuming on May 5.

Returning to public life will not happen like an on/off switch. This slow, careful return will feel more like a dial turning restrictions up or down in response to new information. As we slowly return to some outdoor activities, we will need be especially vigilant to maintain physical distancing. Any additional relaxing — dialing down — of restrictions on outdoor recreation will depend on us continuing our physical distancing while we participate in outdoor recreation. Similarly, if the number of people getting sick suddenly increases, we can expect that these restrictions will be dialed back up again.

Ready to get outside in a physically distanced way? Here are some tips:

  • If you feel sick at all, even a little bit, you need to stay home. Wait until you feel better.
  • Gatherings are still prohibited. You can golf or fish or hunt or go to the park with people in your own household, but not with your other friends or family just yet.
  • Spend your time outside far away from other people. If you are temporarily unable to be at least six feet away from others, wear a cloth face covering.
  • Do not travel to outdoor recreation areas. Enjoy the outdoors that is closer to your home. Overnight trips and camping are still prohibited.
  • Bathrooms may not be open yet at all locations, especially at parks and other areas that were closed for the winter. You are still going to have to wash your hands, though. Bring water and soap with you and don’t forget to scrub for 20 seconds. May as well throw some hand sanitizer and toilet paper in your backpack too.

Individual parks may close again with limited notice if there large groups of people congregate there or if there are other safety or physical distancing concerns. If you see any issues of crowding, trash, or other concerns of wildlife areas or boat launches, you can report those issues online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands/report-conditions.

More Information

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Sign up to be notified whenever we post new articles.

Information in this blog changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at

Answers to your in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact our call center at
. Hours: 6 am-10 pm, seven days a week.

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From the Washington State Department of Health

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Washington State Department of Health

Washington State Department of Health

Protecting and improving the health of people in Washington State.

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