How to Save Money on Your Visit to Minnesota State Parks

There are a lot of ways that you can save money when going to the Minnesota State Parks. In order to ease the pain of spending much, this article guides us on how we can visit a Minnesota start park without spending much.

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 in the day pass 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 Park over the phone to get your reduced rate. The state park service the

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Minnesota State Parks

Minnesota state parks offers free admission for Get Outdoors Day, on June 10th. You can also get free access to special events on getting into the park.

However most of the state parks in Minnesota offer family-themed events for everyone to enjoy. The parks host this special day each year.

If you are an active duty military members, purple heart recipients and veterans with service-related disabilities, you can 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.

Furthermore, you can also get access to any of the state parks for seven days, if you have a Ramsey County card. 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!

Free Activities You Can Learn for Free

Free Fishing

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.

Free Birdwatching

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!

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.

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Free Things for Kids in Minnesota State Parks

Free Things for Kids in Minnesota State Parks

Free Dairy Queen passes

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!

Junior Naturalist Patch

If your child attends an educational program for free at any of the state parks, they can get a junior naturalist patch. They’ll also get access to other free programs similar to junior ranger programs.

Kids Outdoors Program

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!

Most events at the 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!

Most Visited Minnesota State Parks

  1. Tettegouche
  2. Bear Head Lake
  3. Split Rock Lighthouse
  4. Scenic
  5. George Crosby Manitou
  6. Temperance River
  7. Jay Cooke
  8. Itasca State Park
  9. Savanna Portage
  10. Hayes Lake
  11. Banning
  12. Big Bog
  13. Forestville Mystery Cave
  14. Beaver Creek Valley



1. Do i have to have my permit in hand before i can go to the park?

No, you may purchase either a year-round or one-day permit when you arrive at the park, even if there is nobody in the office at the time.

2. Can i camp overnight if i only have a one-day permit?

Yes! For day use visitors, one-day permits are dated with the day of purchase and expire at 10:00 p.m. If you are camping overnight (or staying in a cabin or camper cabin), when you purchase your one-day permit it will be dated with the following day’s date, and your vehicle may remain in the park until camping check-out time.

3. What should i do if i have more than one vehicle?

There is a reduced price year-round permit for multiple vehicles. After you buy one full-price year-round vehicle permit, you may purchase as many multiple-vehicle permits as needed for additional vehicles you own. (Vehicles must all be under the same ownership to qualify.)

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! It is worth noting that most of state parks have some sort of entrance fee.

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