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Minnesota residents and visitors have four days each year to take advantage of free admission to all 75 state parks and recreation areas,

The Minnesota DNR's Free Park Days started as a Black Friday promotion in 2015, with the goal of encouraging people to get outside on the shopping holiday. But since then it has expanded, with the DNR offering four free-free admission days every year. 

"Research shows that walking offers multiple benefits, from increased creativity and better brain function to more flexibility and stamina," the DNR has said. "So you won't just burn calories, you'll also improve your well-being."

Here are the Free Park Days for 2022:

  • Saturday, February 19
  • Saturday, April 23
  • Saturday, June 11
  • Friday, November 25 (Black Friday)

Normally, visitors need to pay for either a one-day or annual vehicle permit, which would grant them legal entrance into the state park. This admission cost is waived on Free Park Days.

Some of the more well-known parks may be quite busy on these free days, so plan ahead — or consider one of the lesser-traveled state parks. The DNR says almost every Minnesotans is within 30 miles of a state park. You can find a list and map here.

And remember to "recreate responsibly," the DNR says. State parks have rules in places to help "conserve these special places." So stay on designated trails to avoid inadvertently damaging the ecosystem, keep your dog on a leash (no more than 6 feet), and make sure you don't litter.

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