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Enjoy state parks for free this weekend

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Enjoying Wisconsin State Parks, forests, trails and recreation areas is always a good value but on the first Sunday of June they are an exceptional value, as entrance to any state park, forest, trail and recreation property is free.

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On State Park Open House Day, no admission stickers are required on vehicles entering state parks, forests and recreation areas, and trail passes are not required for bicyclists, in-line skaters, or horseback riders using state trails that normally require a trail pass. In addition, Saturday, June 5, is National Trails Day and fees are waived to use all DNR-managed state trails on that day as well.

The event also coincides with Free Fishing Weekend in Wisconsin, so no fishing license is required to fish at the many lakes and rivers located in state parks and forests. Several parks are sponsoring free fishing activities, along with other special events.

"Open House Day gives us the opportunity to share our unparalleled natural resources with people who haven't visited recently or who are new to Wisconsin," says Dan Schuller, Wisconsin State Parks director. "From viewing a sunrise over Lake Michigan at Whitefish Dunes or Kohler-Andrea state parks to watching the sun set over the Mississippi River at Perrot or Merrick state parks, people across the state can take in a full day of hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, or just relaxing at some of the most scenic spots in Wisconsin."

Reservable campsites in Wisconsin state park and forest campgrounds are generally in high demand for the Memorial Day weekend, but there are often campsites available for the weekend of State Park Open House at many parks and forests. Camping fees do still apply on state park open house day. People can check campsite availability or reserve a site (minimum two nights) through the State Parks Web site [www.wiparks.net].

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