The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is making it abundantly clear that everyone needs to get outdoors this weekend. However, that should come as no surprise since June is officially the 2023 Great Outdoors Month.

Already this week they reminded everyone that they are hosting another free state park day on Saturday when you can enjoy any of Minnesota's 75 state parks and state recreation areas without paying any admission fees, and no vehicle permits are required.

Then the DNR reminded Minnesotans they had also set aside this weekend to provide ATV riders free access to more than 3,000 miles of state forest and grant-in-aid trails. Normally, Minnesotans need to pay $60 for a three-year registration to ride the state’s ATV trails. Out-of-state riders pay $21 annually for a nonresident trail pass, but all fees are waived on June 10 and June 11.

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On Tuesday, they sweetened the pot even more by announcing this weekend will also be another Take a Kid Fishing weekend. That means from Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11, Minnesota residents can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger along.

“Connecting kids and families to the outdoors is a professional priority and a personal passion for me,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “With so many shore and pier fishing opportunities across our state, fishing is a fun and easy way to get outside and spend time together. I hope Minnesotans across the state take the opportunity this weekend to get outdoors and introduce the next generation to fishing.”

It's worth noting that youth 15 and younger do not require fishing licenses at any time of the year, though they must observe all fishing seasons and other regulations, but Take a Kid Fishing weekend allows adult Minnesotans to also fish without a license as long as they take a child fishing with them. Minnesota residents also may generally fish in state parks without a fishing license if the body of water does not require a trout stamp.

During Great Outdoors Month, Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota DNR are encouraging Minnesotans to get out in nature and enjoy the state’s outstanding outdoor opportunities including fishing, riding all-terrain vehicles on state ATV trails, and visiting state parks and recreation areas to hike, bike, camp, swim, paddle or go birding. There are certainly plenty of things to do in Minnesota's great outdoors!

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