There's never a bad of the year time to be outdoors in Minnesota but when fall approaches, the state's parks and recreation areas can be especially beautiful places to be.

That's why everyone should make plans now to take full advantage of the next Free Park Day offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Most Minnesotans live within 30 miles of a state park and all visitors looking for specific recreational opportunities or amenities can always utilize the ParkFinder tool to find the best state park or recreation area for their trip.

Free Park Days are when the Minnesota DNR waives vehicle permit fees at all 75 state parks and recreation areas. The DNR offers four of these days each year and the next one is on Saturday, September 9.

“September is such a great time to be outdoors as we look forward to the changing seasons,” said Ann Pierce, director of the Minnesota DNR Parks and Trails Division. “We hope Minnesotans who haven’t been to a state park before or haven’t visited in a while will come out to enjoy time in nature and make memories with friends and family.”

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The DNR says that visitors to state parks and recreation areas on September 9 will have many activity options to choose from: :

  • Cool off at one of 33 state park swimming beaches if the weather is warm. Find beach locations on the Minnesota DNR swimming beaches webpage.
  • Hiking is the most popular state park activity. Find hiking tips and locations on the Minnesota DNR hiking page.
  • All-terrain track chairs are available to borrow at 13 state parks, giving visitors with limited mobility the opportunity to explore trails that aren’t accessible with a regular wheelchair. Find details on the Minnesota DNR track chair webpage.
  • Visitors can bike, walk, or roll on paved trails at 33 state parks. Find paved trails at the Minnesota DNR biking webpage.
  • Picnic areas are plentiful and provide great places to enjoy a meal with family and friends. Find picnic planning tips, recipes, and more on the Minnesota DNR’s how to picnic like a pro webpage.

The DNR advises all visitors to check for alerts and notices on park webpages of the Minnesota DNR website before heading out. This is the best way to be aware of any construction, trail closures, or other circumstances that might impact their trip.

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[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

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