Minnesota's state parks are free this weekend

There are a bunch of special events planned.
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It's National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, and that means you can get into Minnesota State Parks for free.

The annual event encourages people to get outside, be active and have fun. And in Minnesota, that's pretty easy – there's a state park within 30 miles of most people, so the Minnesota DNR is encouraging people to get outside and explore.

Not only are the parks free to visit on Saturday (it's usually $5 for a one-day vehicle permit), but many of the 75 state parks and recreation areas have special events planned, like geocaching, guided tours into glacial potholes (pictured above), stargazing events, and educational chats. Here's a look at some of the things going on:

– Take a Kid Fishing Weekend: From Friday-Sunday, if an adult takes a kid age 15 or younger fishing anywhere in the state (not just state parks), the adult doesn't need to buy a fishing license (kids 15 and younger never need a license). And some state parks have free loaner fishing kits people can use. More information here.

Paddle the entire Minnesota River State Water Trail in a single day. The DNR is asking paddlers to claim a section of the 318-mile river online here, with the goal of paddling the entire river in one day.

– See bison and other animals. At Minneopa State Park in the Minnesota River Valley, you can visit the baby bison who was born the spring (and the rest of the bison herd), and on Saturday from 1-4 p.m., the Minnesota Zoomobile will be there with other live animals.

For a full schedule of events at parks around the state this weekend – and all summer – click here.

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