News release: Learn to camp, paddle, fish and mountain bike with DNR’s I Can! programs

April 3, 2023

Registration for the 2023 I Can! programs begins Monday, April 3.

I Can! is an award-winning series of outdoor programs that helps beginners of all ages and backgrounds learn new outdoor skills in a beautiful state park or recreation area setting. Programs begin the first weekend in June and continue through the end of August. They include:

  • I Can Camp! – These programs provide hands-on instruction on setting up camp, starting a campfire, camp cooking and fun outdoor activities. All gear is provided, including the tent, air mattresses, cooking gear and other basic camping equipment. One-night, two-night, and backpacking sessions are offered.
  • I Can Paddle! – These programs teach the basics of canoeing or kayaking, including launching, paddling efficiently, and planning a safe outing. These programs are designed for first-time paddlers and equipment is provided. Two-hour canoe or kayak programs, river day trips, sea kayaking, and overnight canoe camping programs are available.
  • I Can Mountain Bike! – This program teaches mountain bike riding techniques at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, Minnesota’s world class mountain bike park.
  • I Can Fish! – These hands-on programs teach all of the basics, from fish identification to casting.

“We provide all the gear along with friendly and knowledgeable instructors,” said Ann Pierce, director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s Parks and Trails Division. “Not everyone grows up learning outdoor skills, and for some, lack of experience, equipment or skills can be a barrier to trying new outdoor activities. Our goal is to remove that barrier and make it easy for all Minnesotans to connect to the outdoors, feeling prepared and safe.”

Registration and more information

For more information about any of the programs—including program dates, times, locations, and minimum age requirements—visit the I Can! page or contact the DNR Information Center at [email protected] or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

To register for I Can! programs, visit the DNR’s reservation page or register by phone at 866-857-2757 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, except holidays).

Since 2010, more than 100,000 people have participated in I Can! programs. The DNR’s I Can! program series is made possible with funding from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the Legacy Amendment’s three-eighths percent sales tax, and revenue to the Fund may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

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