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ADMISSION FREE TO MORE THAN 100 STATE PARKS, FORESTS AND TRAILS ON JUNE 7-8

June 3, 2014

MADISON - Admission to Wisconsin's more than 100 state parks, forests and trails is free on June 7-8 and special events are planned at many of them to showcase their scenery, recreation and history.

"This is an invitation to folks who haven't been to state parks and forests in recent years to see what they're all about," says Department of Natural Resources Parks Director Dan Schuller. "Free Fun Weekend is also a great opportunity to try the dozens of trails that normally require a trail pass."

Wisconsin's Free Fun Weekend is June 7 and 8, with free fishing, free admission to state parks and forests, free use of state-owned trails, and free ATV and UTV riding on public trails open to such use.

This year marks the first time that vehicle admission fees to Wisconsin State Park System properties are waived for both days of the weekend. Previously, the state park system's longstanding free open house was only the first Sunday in June.

People who camp at state parks will still pay for their campsites and other events or programs on those two days may require a fee as well.

Many of the state parks and their friends groups are offering special programming during Free Fun Weekend. Activities include everything from free fishing clinics to kayak tours, to nature walks, to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the historic Hellestad House at Hartman Creek State Park and an art and craft fair at Willow River State Park.

Some of the state trails are offering special events as well, with the Red Cedar Trail serving up a variety of events on June 7, including free fishing, with tackle and instruction provided, a quick free tune-up and safety check for bicycles, free cookies and lemonade, live eagles and other birds of prey, and more. Check the Get Outdoors! Nature Programs and Events Calendar for listings.

State trails are free June 7-8 too

As in past years, people can enjoy free access to state-owned and operated trails that normally require a trail pass for those 16 or older who want to bike, in-line skate or horseback ride. Find them by using DNR's "find a park, forest, recreation area or trail" tool.

Many of the trails owned by the state are operated by counties. Those trails are free as well on June 7 and 8, Schuller says. "Pick an area of the state where you want to explore and base out of there for a great weekend."

While all of the trails feature beautiful scenery and level, easy rides, Schuller highlights two new trails to explore. The Stower Seven Lakes State Trail, a 14-mile trail that begins in Amery, travels through the communities of Deronda, Wanderoos and Nye and ends near Dresser. It passes through maple and oak forests, wetlands, prairies and farmlands, and many picturesque lakes.

The other trail is the Newton Blackmour State Trail in Outagamie County; 9 miles of the trail are now open -- the part between Black Creek and Seymour. The 14-mile segment from New London to Black Creek is closed to all use while it is under development. The trail allows biking and horseback riding and walking, and in the winter, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Schuller, 608-266-2185; Paul Holtan, 608-267-7517

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 03, 2014




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