The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will waive entrance fees to all 75 state parks and recreation areas on Friday, Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving.
Local state parks and recreation areas include Frontenac, Afton and Newstrand Big Woods.
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.
A map of all of Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas can be found at dnr.state.mn.us.