(Minneosta) The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering free admission to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas on Saturday, Feb. 19. This “Free Park Day” is one of four days each year on which the DNR waives entrance fees to state parks. The entrance fee waiver does not cover activities like camping, rentals or tours.
The goal of Free Park Days is to get all Minnesotans outdoors. Research shows that spending time outdoors in nature provides multiple health and wellness benefits.
“Minnesota state parks and recreation areas are open year-round to provide places for people to get away from life’s everyday demands and be surrounded by the beauty of nature,” said Ann Pierce, director of the DNR Parks and Trails Division. “We hope that visitors who go to a state park or recreation area for the first time on Free Park Day will have fun and want to come back.”
Several Minnesota state parks will offer special programs. Four state parks located in south-central Minnesota—Myre-Big Island, Nerstrand Big Woods, Rice Lake and Sakatah Lake—will have a Free Park Day challenge, which includes the chance to win individual park prizes and a grand prize for visitors who visit all four parks. Several other state parks—Itasca, Jay Cooke, Lake Bemidji, Mille Lacs Kathio, Whitewater and William O’Brien—will offer snowshoeing programs on Free Park Day.
The four Free Park Days in 2022 are:
- Feb. 19
- April 23
- June 11
- Nov. 25
State parks and recreation areas can be busy on Free Park Days and staffing and available amenities vary by season, so visitors should plan ahead by checking the Minnesota state parks and recreation areas page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/stateparks).