MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Free day in Minnesota state parks

On June 10, everyone is invited to join naturalists for a day of fun.

Kids at the Itasca headwaters.

© Beth Gauper

In Itasca State Park, kids run across the rocks that mark the start of the Mississippi.

The second weekend in June is a good time to try something new in Minnesota.

On June 10 in 2017, admission to all Minnesota state parks is free to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day.

Many parks are holding special events, such as archery, wildflower hikes and snake and bat programs.

There will be a peregrine falcon program at Gooseberry Falls, birding at Bear Head Lake and a family outdoor fair at Whitewater.

Lake Carlos, Itasca and Wild River are among parks offering a variety of activities all day.

Nearly 20 public paddles will be on the Minnesota River State Water Trail between Ortonville and St. Paul.

On the North Shore, Split Rock Lighthouse historical site will have an open house June 10, along with the state park. 

This is the only day the $5 daily vehicle charge is waived in state parks. But it's free to borrow GPS units and kits for birding, fishing and kids' discovery any time.

The weekend of June 9-11 is Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, when people 16 or older don't need a license if they take a youth 15 and younger fishing.

It's also Free Fishing Weekend in Michigan.

Where to stay

Minnesota has a large selection of camper cabins, guesthouses and even tipis. Reserve early for weekends.

For more, see Lodgings in Minnesota state parks.

Last updated on June 5, 2017