Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota DNR are encouraging Minnesotans to get out in nature and enjoy the state’s outstanding outdoor opportunities by proclaiming June 2023 as Great Outdoors Month. The proclamation cites the health and wellness benefits of spending time outdoors as one of the many reasons to encourage Minnesotans to get outdoors.
“Connecting people to the outdoors is both part of our mission at the Minnesota DNR and a personal passion of mine,” said Sarah Strommen, DNR commissioner. “This year, Great Outdoors Month comes on the heels of a legislative session that provided unprecedented investments in Minnesota’s natural resources and modernizing our outdoor recreation experiences. I look forward to working with my DNR colleagues to put these investments into actions that Minnesotans will experience when they’re enjoying our parks, trails, campgrounds, waters, and other public lands.”
The newly enacted Get Out MORE (Modernize Outdoor Recreation Experiences) Initiative provides $110 million in transformational, one-time investments for enhanced outdoor recreation access ($25 million), modernization of camping experiences ($5 million), modernizing boat access ($35 million), modernizing fish hatcheries and fishing infrastructure ($35 million) and restoring streams and modernizing water related infrastructure ($10 million).
During Great Outdoors Month, the DNR is offering special programs and incentives to encourage Minnesotans to get outdoors. June 9-11 is the annual Take a Kid Fishing weekend, when Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don't need a fishing license. More information is available on the Take a Kid Fishing web page.
June 10-11 is also a no-registration riding weekend on motorized state and Grant-in-Aid trails. This weekend allows Minnesotans with an all-terrain vehicle registered for private or agricultural use to ride public trails without paying the registration fee. Find ATV trails on the trail locations map.
On Saturday, June 10, the DNR will also host a Free Park Day, which allows free entrance to all 75 state parks and recreation areas in Minnesota. There’s a state park or recreation area within 30 miles of most Minnesotans.
In addition to offering popular activities such as hiking, biking, camping, swimming, paddling and birding, a variety of state park programs are open to all visitors. Programs are free, but some require preregistration. Find state park programs online at the state parks and trails events calendar.
The entrance fee waiver for Free Park Day does not cover amenity or user fees for activities like camping, rentals, or special tours. Details are on the Free Park Day web page.
Celebrated across the United States since 2008, Great Outdoors Month highlights the diversity of public lands throughout the country and the benefits they provide.
For more information, contact the DNR Information Center by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-646-6367 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.