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MN state parks to be free on day after Thanksgiving

Tall grass is shown with the Mississippi River in the background in a 2012 photograph taken at Frontenac State Park in southeast Minnesota. (RiverTown Multimedia archive photo)

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has announced there will be another Free Park Friday over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Smith said entry fees at all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will be waived on Friday, Nov. 25.

“In my travels around Minnesota, I visit Minnesota state parks and recreation areas as often as I can,” she said. “We have one of the finest park and trail systems in the country, and spending time in nature is the best way I know to get some exercise, relax and refresh with family and friends. I want as many Minnesotans as possible to enjoy a free day in the parks after Thanksgiving.”  

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Minnesota state parks and trails system and record crowds have been showing up. Through September, one-day parks and trails permit sales were up 6 percent, year-round permit sales were up 8 percent and overnight stays were up 6 percent over last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

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