Minnesota marks ‘Get Outdoors Day’ with free state park access

A view from Bear Head State Park near Ely, Minnesota. (PHOTO: MNPhotos, Flickr CC)

Looking for a cheap road trip? Or maybe you live near a state park you’ve always wanted to check out. If so, tomorrow is your day.

This Saturday, June 10, 2017 all 75 Minnesota state parks will offer free admission in celebration of National “Get Outdoors” Day. In addition, many of the parks scheduled special events catering to families. You can view a complete listing here.

Here in Northern Minnesota both McCarthy Beach State Park near Side Lake and Bear Head State Park near Ely offer bird watching tours. Gooseberry Falls State Park on the North Shore offers programs on falcons, rocks and leads tours to see the celebrated waterfall.

Meanwhile, other parks around the state have interesting events, too. This from a press release by Lt. Gov. Tina Smith:

· Archery (1-3 p.m.) and live bluegrass music (6:30-8 p.m.) at Afton State Park in Hastings.

· Live raptors Wild River State Park in Center City, about an hour north of the Twin Cities. (2-3 p.m.)

· Geocaching 101 at William O’Brien State Park, just north of Stillwater (10:30 a.m. – noon)

· A Family Outdoor Fair with archery, fly tying, canoeing and more from noon to 3 p.m. at Whitewater State Park near Winona in southeastern Minnesota.

· A group effort to paddle the entire 318-mile Minnesota River in a day.

Furthermore, state parks allow fishing without a license. Many of them even offer free fishing gear and other equipment for day use.

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