The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hosts four free state park days each year, which means you can enjoy any of Minnesota's 75 state parks and state recreation areas without paying any admission fees, and no vehicle permits are required.

The first free state park day in 2023 was held on Saturday, April 22, which was a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. The next free state park day is coming up on Saturday, June 10, so it's time to start thinking about which state park you'd like to visit.

The DNR says that Minnesota state parks are open year-round, and there's a state park within 30 miles of most Minnesotans. Free state park days are an excellent opportunity to visit an old favorite, or get out there and explore someplace new. Visitors can stay for the whole weekend or go to spend a few hours outside.

According to the DNR, the entrance fee waiver for fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities like camping, rentals, or special tours.

The goal is to encourage families to spend time together with a walk outdoors. Research shows that walking offers multiple benefits, from increased creativity and better brain function to more flexibility and stamina. So you won't just burn calories, you'll also improve your well-being.

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If you need help deciding where to visit, the Minnesota DNR has a handy ParkFinder tool, which helps people find recreational opportunities or amenities to meet their interests and needs.

The DNR also encourages anyone coming to a state park or recreation area to know the "Key 3:"

  1. Plan to be flexible, and consider exploring new destinations. Parks are busy on these free days, so we encourage you to discover a new favorite!
  2. Arrive prepared. Check visitor alerts and download maps before your trip.
  3. Recreate responsibly. Help conserve these special places for the future by staying on trails and leaving no trace.

The two remaining free park days in 2023 are scheduled for Saturday, September 9, and Friday, November 24.

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