Free entrance to Minn. state parks and recreation areas this Friday

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is waiving entrance fees to all 75 state parks and recreation areas on the day after Thanksgiving.

The DNR offers four free park days every year — one in each season — to encourage all Minnesotans to get outdoors and enjoy the benefits of nature throughout the year.

“Public lands are for all of us to enjoy,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “The free park days ensure everyone has the chance to experience the peace and beauty of Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas. There’s no better time to do this than with family and friends following Thanksgiving celebrations.”

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State parks and recreation areas are open year-round and there’s a park within 30 miles of most Minnesotans. Free park days provide a terrific opportunity to visit a state park or recreation area for the first time or return to a favorite one to discover something new.

Most state park offices and visitor centers will be minimally staffed on Nov. 26, so visitors are encouraged to to plan ahead and arrive prepared for their visit:

Check visitor alerts and find directions on state park web pages at

Download GeoPDF maps before the trip. These maps will display a user’s current location, like Google Maps or other map applications, but the user does not have to be connected to the internet or have cell service while using 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.

Visit DNR’s website for more information: