Possible Amendments to Rules Governing Use of State Parks, State Recreation Areas and Waysides, State Trails, and Forest Lands

What are these rules about?

These rules govern the recreational use of state parks, state recreation areas, state waysides, state trails and water trails, and forest lands.  Together, this set of rules are sometimes called the outdoor recreation rules.

What will this rule making do?

The purposes of the rulemaking area to:

  • Address emerging recreational activities, technologies, and federal requirements.
  • Integrate the rules governing state trials and water trails into the rules for other recreation units.
  • Provide common definitions and provisions for the recreation units where possible.
  • Provide different regulations for state parks, state recreation areas, and state waysides, consistent with the purposed described in the Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Act (Chapter 86A).  The current rules do not differentiate among these units.
  • Respond to changing visitor needs and desires (for example, allowing pets in designated camper cabins, and use of alcohol in private areas such as campsites and lodging).
  • Update and correct outdated and obsolete provisions.

Who might be affected by these rule changes?

The proposed rule changes would likely affect individuals and groups of people that use state parks, state trails and water trails, state recreation areas and state waysides, and forest lands for recreational purposes including trail users, campers, hunters, anglers, and others.

Individuals and organizations that use these lands for special events and commercial purposes may be affected, including timber harvesters, outfitters, recreation providers, media, and educational institutions.

Where do I send my comments?

The DNR does not have a draft rule available for review at this time.  Preparation of the draft rule and scheduling public review and comment was delayed because of COVID-19. The DNR anticipates having the draft available for public review in early to mid-2024.  At that time, the DNR will publish a notice of the proposed rule in the State Register, and will make the proposed rule available for public review and comment.  For a list of key areas that may be revised, please see Key areas for revision link in the Rulemaking documents below.

Information submitted as a public comment is public data. Please do not provide private data or other information that you do not wish to be public knowledge.

Rulemaking documents

Below are links that provide additional information about the rule revision process, areas under consideration for revision, and the current rules for these recreation units.

All formal rulemaking documents, including the proposed rules and Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) will be posted here when they are available.

How can I sign up for rulemaking notices?

To receive DNR rulemaking notices on all topics, subscribe to the DNR rules notification lists.


Jade Templin
Parks and Trails Division, MN DNR
500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 259-5598
[email protected]

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