News release: New accessible recreation opportunities in Minnesota state parks and trails celebrated as part of Great Outdoors Month

June 13, 2022

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is celebrating the opening of new accessible features in state parks and trails as part of its effort to connect all Minnesotans to the outdoors during Great Outdoors Month. Gov. Tim Walz proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month to encourage Minnesotans to get outside.

The DNR kicked off the celebration of Great Outdoors Month on June 1 by introducing new adaptive equipment in six state parks throughout the state, including five all-terrain track chairs and an adaptive beach chair.

“Every year, we are making progress on increasing access to the outdoors,” said Ann Pierce, Parks and Trails director. “Increasing adaptive-supported recreation opportunities throughout the state helps ensure all Minnesotans  can explore the great outdoors and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of time spent in nature.”

In addition to the all-terrain track chairs that were introduced at the beginning of the month, the DNR is celebrating the opening of new recreation amenities on the following dates:

  • Gitchi-Gami State Trail ribbon cutting on Tuesday, June 14 at 10 a.m.
    • A new 4.5-mile segment of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail connects Cut Face Creek Wayside to Grand Marais and the City of Grand Marais municipal trail system. This state trail is a fully accessible, non-motorized trail.
  • Shipwreck Creek Campground ribbon cutting at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park on Tuesday, June 14 at 2 p.m.
    • The new Shipwreck Creek campground at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park has accessible, drive-in electric sites, an accessible bathroom and shower building and direct access to Lake County’s Split Rock Wilds mountain bike trail system and the paved, accessible Gitchi-Gami State Trail.
  • Sagamore Unit grand opening at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area on Wednesday, June 15 at 1 p.m.
    • The Sagamore Unit features 15.1 miles of mountain bike trails, including 7.4 miles of adaptive trails for hand-bike and other assistive bikes and a 1.4-mile accessible walking trail.
  • St. Croix State Park Visitor Center exhibit grand opening at St. Croix State Park on Wednesday, June 28 at 1 p.m.
    • The new St. Croix State Park visitor center exhibit is designed to be accessible to people with cognitive, physical, visual and hearing disabilities. The exhibit includes audio description that allows visitors to easily interact with and move around the interpretive exhibit.

These new recreation opportunities were made possible with funding from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-MINNDNR (646-6367) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.