Minnesota state parks offer you many opportunities to get outdoors and try new things. While people may not visit the parks because of the cost to get in, we found plenty of ways to save money!
Get into Minnesota state parks for free!
On June 10th, you can get into Minnesota state parks for free! They offer this free admission for Get Outdoors Day. In addition to getting into the park, you can also get free access to special events. Most of the state parks in Minnesota offer family-themed events for everyone to enjoy. The parks host this special day each year.
Do you have a Ramsey County library card? If yes, you can get free access to Minnesota state parks for seven days! You can check out the free weeklong pass through the library and use it to explore Minnesota state parks. If you’re a resident of a different Minnesota county or have a different library card, check with Ramsey for trade options!
Active duty military members, purple heart recipients and veterans with service-related disabilities get a free year pass into Minnesota state parks. There is no limit to how many years you can get the pass for free. Veterans and reserve members can save money on their year passes with a military ID.
Save on admission to Minnesota state parks
The daily use pass to get into Minnesota state parks is $7. If you purchase a pass for one day, love the parks, and decide to get a yearly pass, you can trade the day pass in for $7 off your annual pass.
The annual pass is $35. You get access to state parks, state recreation areas and lakes in the state. You can purchase the pass online, but to use a $7 daily pass trade in, you must use a kiosk or visit a station at the park.
Those with a disability get discounts on yearly passes. You will need to contact Minnesota state parks over the phone to get your reduced rate. The state park service then emails or mails your pass to you so you can start using it!
Learn new things with free activities
Minnesota state parks offer free fishing to everyone who visits the parks. You don’t need a fishing license to fish in the state parks. While you do need one for the state recreation areas, Minnesota offers discounts on licenses.
New to fishing? Most Minnesota state parks have free loaner kits you can use to get started!
You can also learn how to birdwatch while you’re in the Minnesota state parks. Free loaner birding kits help you get started and show you how you can learn more about birds. Some of the state parks offer guided birdwatching tours to those who have never done it before. If you use a birding loaner kit from the park, you can get a discount on getting your own gear!
Through the ICAN! Program, you can get a huge discount on things you’ve never done before. From camping to paddling and even hiking, Minnesota state parks offer discounts and gear included. The ICAN! Programs let you get a taste for outdoor activities. They’re intended for beginners and include everything you need to get started at a much lower price than purchasing it all separately.
Free things for kids in Minnesota state parks
Get caught wearing a lifejacket! When park rangers see kids in lifejackets while on the water, they give out free Dairy Queen passes. Safety for ice cream? Sounds like a perfect trade!
If your child attends an educational program for free at any of the Minnesota state parks, they can get a junior naturalist patch. They’ll also get access to other free programs similar to junior ranger programs.
Most events at Minnesota state parks are free with your daily entrance. You can enjoy moonlight walks, yoga in the parks and even educational opportunities. There are also things you can do in the parks like disc golf!
Through the Kids Outdoors program, your kids can learn more about the parks. They can attend classes, get free gear and learn more about safety in state parks. Minnesota state park rangers help put different programs on to give your children outdoors education for free!