DNR Free Fun Weekend offers waived admission June 4-5

MADISON — If you’re looking for an excuse to get out and enjoy this week’s beautiful weather, look no further than one of Wisconsin’s state parks. This weekend only, the state’s Department of Natural Resources offers free admission for anyone who wants to visit. It’s a part of the 10th annual “Free Fun Weekend.”

DNR officials said the event is a great opportunity to break down barriers to enjoying our natural land.

“We want people to be interested, we want people to become lifelong adorners of the outdoors,” said Missy Vanlanduyt.

For outdoor enthusiasts, it’s no secret that Wisconsin has some of the most incredible natural beauty in the country. But for those who haven’t ventured into our state’s natural areas, this weekend provides the perfect opportunity to get outside; an opportunity that’s been trending in recent years.

“In the past few years, our visitation has been up nearly 26 percent,” Vanlanduyt said. “I think a lot of people were finding the outdoors to just be a place of comfort and peace and just a new place to go during the pandemic. And we do know that a lot of those folks were first-time visitors to our programs and to our properties.”

Free Fun Weekend runs all day on June 4-5. Parks are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. It’ll include free admission to any of Wisconsin’s 49 state parks or 15 state forests, as well as state trails and waterways. For a list of all locations, click or tap here. Vanlanduyt suggested planning ahead and getting to your destination early because these weekends make for busy trails.

“We want people to be able to come without having to pay an admission pass, sort of a try-for-free,” Vanlanduyt said. “And if you love it, then buy an annual pass and come back!”

If you do love your experience this weekend and decide to buy an annual pass, it can be purchased online or at any state park. One sticker costs $28 for cars with Wisconsin plates, with all proceeds going towards maintaining Wisconsin’s parks.