Free entrance to Minnesota state parks, recreation areas on Nov. 25

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) is encouraging Minnesotans to explore the outdoors with friends and family over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The MnDNR announced they will be waiving entrance fees to all 75 state parks and recreation areas on Friday, November 25 – the day after Thanksgiving.

This “Free Park Day” is 1 of 4 days each year on which the DNR waives the vehicle permit requirement to enter state parks and recreation areas.

The MnDNR says the goal is to encourage Minnesotans to get outdoors and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of spending time in nature. According to the MnDNR, most Minnesotans live within 30 miles of state park or recreational area.

“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.

The free entrance fee waiver does NOT cover amenity or user fees for activities like camping, rentals, or special tours.

To learn more about the MnDNR’s free entrance days to Minnesota state parks, CLICK HERE.