Lake Carlos State Park will join 74 other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas in waiving its entrance free on Free Park Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

The purpose is to encourage all Minnesotans to get outdoors.

“I wish everyone in Minnesota a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “And on the day after the holiday, I can't think of anything better than visiting one of Minnesota's spectacular state parks, with free admission. No matter where you are in the state, you’re likely within about a half-hour’s drive of a state park or recreation area.”

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, the DNR said. A brisk walk can burn about 300 calories in one hour.

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