June is Great Outdoors Month, a proclamation with a nudge to celebrate public lands and get active.
Its significance is relevant in outdoors-minded Minnesota and especially so this summer coming off a legislative session that sent significant new funding to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that will, among other areas, improve watercraft access areas, upgrade state park campgrounds and continue to develop state trails.
Here are several ways the DNR and other park systems are lowering barriers to get out next weekend from Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11:
Take a Kid Fishing Weekend: Friday and Saturday; Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don't need a license.
ATV riding: Saturday and Sunday; Minnesotans with machines registered for private or agricultural use can ride state forest and grant-in-aid trails without paying a registration fee. Normally, state residents pay $60 for a three-year registration to ride the ATV trails.
Free Park Days: Saturday, aka Get Outdoors Day; free entrance to all 75 state parks and recreation areas. Check out the parks and trails calendar for programs, too, happening across the system, including wildflower and birding walks, archery and more. There are two more Free Park Days scheduled this year, Sept. 9 and Nov. 24.
Washington County Parks also is marking the day with free entry to parks like Lake Elmo Park Reserve and Square Lake Regional Park near Stillwater and a variety of family-friendly activities.