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Free entrance days announced for Minnesota state parks, recreation areas

The Minnesota DNR will waive vehicle permit fees at all 75 state parks and recreation areas this year on Saturday, April 22; Saturday, June 10; Saturday, Sept. 9; and Friday, Nov. 24.

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With the support of the state legislature, the DNR offers Free Park Days to encourage Minnesotans to get outdoors and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of spending time in nature.
Pioneer File Photo

On four days each year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources waives vehicle permit fees at all 75 state parks and recreation areas. The Free Park Days for this year will be Saturday, April 22; Saturday, June 10; Saturday, Sept. 9; and Friday, Nov. 24.

With the support of the state legislature, the DNR offers Free Park Days to encourage Minnesotans to get outdoors and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of spending time in nature.

“Minnesota state parks and recreation areas are open year-round, and there’s plenty of fun to be had in the outdoors in every season,” said Ann Pierce, director of the DNR Parks and Trails Division. “We hope offering a series of free entrance days will encourage Minnesotans to visit these special places to spend time enjoying the outstanding natural resources our state has to offer and recharge from the stresses of everyday life.”

Getting outdoors makes exercise more fun and can boost mood and immunity. According to the American Psychological Association, exposure to nature is linked to benefits like improved attention and lower stress.

There’s a state park or recreation area within 30 miles of most Minnesotans. In addition to offering popular activities such as hiking, biking, camping, swimming, skiing and birding, a variety of state park programs are open to all visitors. Programs are free, but some require pre-registration. Find state park programs online at the state parks and trails events calendar , mndnr.gov/ptcalendar.

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The entrance fee waiver on Free Park Days does not cover activities like camping, rentals or tours.

For more information, visit the DNR’s Free Park Days page, mndnr.gov/freeparkdays or contact the DNR Information Center by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us or by calling (888) 646-6367 between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

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