Minnesota State Parks Offer Free Admission for Black Friday


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that entry fees to all 75 Minnesota state parks will be waived on Black Friday (11/26) – encouraging all Minnesota residents to get out and explore Minnesota’s parks and trails.

The aim is to encourage families to extend their vacation by spending time together with a walk in the open air. Research shows that walking offers multiple benefits, ranging from increased creativity and better brain function to more flexibility and stamina. Thus, you will not only burn calories, you will also improve your well-being.

Need a suggestion for a free park adventure in central Minnesota?

  • Hike the trails amid tall red and white pines, aspens and oaks while watching bald eagles soar to Charles A. Lindbergh State Park in Little Falls.
  • Enjoy the heavily forested trails while searching for as many of the 220 recorded bird species as possible at Lake Maria State Park in Monticello.
  • Hike Mount Tom (elevation 1375 feet) for scenic views or hike the nearby Glacial Lakes State Trail at Sibley State Park in the new London.
  • Hike the famous Woods Trail and take in the views from Chippewa Lookout in Crow Wing State Park at Brainerd.
  • Take advantage of the self-guided trails and the 100-foot fire tower that you can climb for a majestic view of Lac des Mille Lacs at Kathio Thousand Lakes State Park in Onamia.
  • Travel the majestic deciduous forest trails while keeping your eyes peeled for one of the many white deer that inhabit Père Hennepin State Park at Isle.
  • Hiking or skiing (depending on the weather) from the larch bog to a linden sugar bush in Carlos Lake State Park to Carlos.
  • Stand atop picturesque glacial hills and discover the vast open prairie that once dominated Minnesota at Glacial Lakes State Park at Starbuck.
  • Pack a turkey sandwich picnic and watch the sky and shore for the wide variety of birds at Monson Lake State Park in Sunbourg.
  • Explore a 3 mile loop around Pike Island and keep an eye out for wild turkeys at Fort Snelling State Park in Saint-Paul.

The bottom line is, there is no shortage of ways to spend some quality time with your family outside the day after Thanksgiving and get out of your turkey dinner! (It’s what I’m going to do.)

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