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If you've been looking to get out and enjoy the great outdoors here in Minnesota, the DNR is making it easier on your checkbook.

One of the great things-- and there are many-- about living here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes is the incredible state park system and nature areas that the Department of Natural Resources manages. From one of the many scenic parks along the North Shore to Carley State Park near Plainview, Minnesota really IS a beautiful state.

And if you want to get out and enjoy one of those state parks, you'll be able to do it for FREE again next Saturday, April 24th, because it's the next DNR Free Park Day. And according to the DNR, that means you can put away your wallet-- your money's no good at any of the 75 Minnesota state parks and state recreation areas that day, as they're all offering free admission to everyone.

And with 75 of those areas not charging admission, you're sure to find a park or trail you haven't explored before. The DNR explains:

There's a state park within 30 miles of most Minnesotans. With a free day in each season, it's a great opportunity to get out there and explore someplace new - or visit an old favorite at a new time of year! Whether you stay for the whole weekend or just spend a few hours outside, you'll make memories that will last a lifetime.

In late June last year, we had the chance to head up to the North Shore and explore two state parks I'd never been to before, hiking the trails at Jay Cooke State Park, just south of Duluth in Carlson, Minnesota as well as at Cascade River State Park a little farther up Highway-61 in Lutsen. The views were AMAZING, and even though we were there a few days before the 4th of July holiday (which is always busier), we didn't find either park to be crowded.

If you can't make it out next Saturday, the DNR is also planning two other Free Park Days this year: one on Saturday, June 12th; and again on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) on Friday, November 26th. And, you might want to get out and enjoy things while they're free because there's a proposal in the state legislature that would increase fees at Minnesota State Parks and recreation areas later this year or early next year.

And even though it's still early spring in Minnesota, some of those pesky ticks and other bugs have already been spotted here in the Bold North. Keep scrolling, though, to check out 6 state parks where our Minnesota geography helps to keep the bug count down!

Listen to Curt St. John mornings from 6 to 10 on Quick Country 96.5
and afternoons from 2 to 6 on 103.9 The Doc

MORE TO EXPLORE: Six Minnesota State Parks Where There Are Fewer Bugs

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