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Lt. Governor Tina Smith Announces “Free Park Friday” in Minnesota

11/22/2016 12:25:52 PM

Entrance fees to all 76 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will be waived on Friday, November 25, 2016
ST. PAUL, MN – Lt. Governor Tina Smith today announced “Free Park Friday” in Minnesota, highlighting that entrance fees to all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will be waived on Friday, November 25, 2016. During the event, Lt. Governor Smith and State Parks and Trails Director Erika Rivers encouraged Minnesotans to spend time outdoors, and with family, on the day after Thanksgiving.
“I wish everyone in Minnesota a peaceful, warm Thanksgiving on Thursday. And on Friday after Thanksgiving, I can't think of anything better than visiting one of Minnesota's spectacular state parks, with free admission,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “I will be visiting Temperance River State Park on the North Shore, but no matter where you are in Minnesota there is probably a state park within 30 miles.”
Research shows that spending time outdoors benefits children and adults, including improving mood, enhancing creative thinking and problem solving, promoting a conservation ethic, and improving physical fitness. On Thanksgiving Day, the average American consumes around 4,500 calories. A brisk walk can burn about 300 calories in one hour.
“Fresh air, great scenery, the company of family and friends and all at no cost. We hope thousands of Minnesota families take advantage of this offer,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. “We’ve got lots of parks that present lots of outdoor options throughout Minnesota.”
Visitors and families who visit parks throughout the winter season can participate in hundreds of naturalist-led state park programs, or they can bird watch and search for other wildlife, or participate in the DNR’s “Call of the Wildflowers” geocaching adventure. Winter presents outdoor candlelight events, lessons in snowshoeing and wreath-making and dozens of other useful and fun activities.
Before you graduate to all of that, check out a state park or recreation area on Friday. Get directions and find recommended hikes online at the Free Park Friday page. Drive in at no cost and leave hours later with a wealth of fond memories.
For additional resources on things to do and places to stay across the state, visit, and share your sights this season on social media using #OnlyinMN.
Read the Governor and Lt. Governor’s proclamation here.
[PHOTO]: Lt. Governor Tina Smith, DNR Parks & Trails Director Erika Rivers, and school children today encouraged Minnesotans to take advantage of free admission to Minnesota State Parks on Friday, November 25, 2016. [LINK]
[AUDIO]: Audio of Lt. Governor Smith and Parks & Trails Director Rivers’ remarks can be found here. [LINK]

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