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Minnesota state parks offer free admission June 8

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is celebrating National Get Outdoors Day by offering free admission at all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas on Saturday, June 8.

Lake Carlos State Park near Alexandria will offer a variety of activities that day, including standup paddle boating, geocaching, a nature program, tours and free rentals for birding kits, kids discovery kits and fishing kits.

The goal of National Get Outdoors Day is to introduce first-time visitors to state parks, state trails, fishing piers and other public lands. In particular, it aims to reconnect youth, whose participation in outdoor recreation has been declining, to the great outdoors.

June 8 is also Play-Clean-Go Day, which is designed to educate visitors about terrestrial invasive species and what they can do to help stop the spread of these species from one place to another.

Families uncertain about which Minnesota state park or trail to visit will find a new trip-planning tool online: virtual tours at

The tours feature 360-degree panoramic photos of 74 parks. The interactive photos allow viewers to pan right, left, up and down to see what they would see if they were standing in the park.