ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Free entrance to Minnesota State Parks and rec areas Nov. 25

Minnesotans are encouraged to explore the outdoors with friends and family over holiday weekend

060321-Itasca-state-park-shutterstock.jpg
The Headwaters of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park. Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL— The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will waive entrance fees to all 75 state parks and recreation areas Friday, Nov. 25 — the day after Thanksgiving.

This “Free Park Day” is one of four days each year on which the DNR waives the vehicle permit requirement to enter state parks and recreation areas. The goal of Free Park Days is 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 provide places of peace and beauty to recharge during the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season,” DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Ann Pierce said. “It’s a fantastic time to get out into nature with friends and family following Thanksgiving celebrations.”

According to the American Psychological Association, spending time in nature is linked to improved attention, lower stress, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even increased empathy and cooperation.

There’s a state park or recreation area within 30 miles of most Minnesotans. Free Park Days provide an opportunity to visit a state park or recreation area for the first time or return to an old favorite to discover something new.

ADVERTISEMENT

Most state park offices and visitor centers will be lightly staffed on Nov. 25. Before and during their visit, visitors are encouraged to:

  • Check visitor alerts and find directions on state park pages via the DNR website (mndnr.gov).
  • Download GeoPDF maps (mndnr.gov/mobile/geopdf) before the trip. These maps will display a user’s current location, like other map applications, but the user does not have to be connected to the internet or have cell service to use them.
  • Visit the self-orientation signs near the park entrance for suggestions on what to see and do while visiting.
  • Help protect these special places for the future by staying on trails and leaving no trace.

For more information, visit the free entrance days to all Minnesota state parks page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/freeparkdays) or contact the DNR Information Center by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us or by calling 888-646-6367 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The late-season hunt will open Friday, Dec. 16, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 18. DPAs open to this CWD management hunt are 184, 605, 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649 and 655.
The incident occurred the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 23, when Kittson County deputies Alex Rudnik and Dave Thompson spotted what at first glance looked like two bucks standing side by side eating in a field near Hallock, Minn.
While ice is never 100% safe, ice in the early stages of formation is particularly dangerous. Falls through the ice or into open water at this time of year can turn tragic quickly, and each year result in serious injuries or deaths.
The DNR conducts the fall population survey over 17 days, beginning the Tuesday after Labor Day, setting 64 nets at sites across the Minnesota side of the lake from the south shore to the Northwest Angle.
The DNR is taking public comments until Dec. 9. The new rules will likely take effect sometime in the spring.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Pineandlakes Echo Journal." Often, the "Pineandlakes Echo Journal" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Send us your news or story ideas by emailing nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or calling 218-855-5877. Be sure to leave a message!
What to read next
A look at police reports in the northern Brainerd lakes area - Cass and Crow Wing counties
Thorp castle was once an icon in the Nisswa area
Northern Brainerd lakes area students honored for academics
Law enforcement and natural resources agencies such as the DNR all have issued numerous news releases urging people to put safety first on the ice. Unfortunately, you can't legislate common sense.