Nov 21, 2022

Walk Off Your Thanksgiving Feast With Free State Park Access Friday

By Jo McMullen / KVSC reporter

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is waiving entrance fees to all 75 state parks and recreation areas on the day after Thanksgiving, a great opportunity to walk off a big meal.

The Free Park Day is one of four each year when the DNR waives the vehicle permit requirement to enter state parks and recreation areas. They’re encouraging Minnesotans to get outdoors and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of spending time in nature.

DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Ann Pierce says it’s a fantastic time to get out into nature with friends and family following Thanksgiving celebrations.

There’s a state park or recreation area within 30 miles of most Minnesotans. State parks near Central Minnesota include Lake Maria, Charles Lindbergh and Mille Lacs Kathio.

There’s some tips to review before you head out:

  • Check visitor alerts and find directions on state park pages via the DNR website.
  • Download GeoPDF maps 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.
  • Help protect these special places for the future by staying on trails and leaving no trace.

Thank You Underwriters