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Wisconsin DNR waives admission and trail fees for Free Fun Weekend

The Escanaba Trails near Boulder Junction in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest.
Katie Thoresen
The Escanaba Trails near Boulder Junction in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest.

Wisconsin is home to more than 24,000 acres of state trails.

The Department of Natural Resources hopes you’ll get out and explore some of them for National Trails Day this Saturday.

From hiking to biking and horseback riding to ATVs, there’s a lot of trail for everyone in Wisconsin. Trails that have seen a lot more use in recent years.

Missy VanLanduyt is the DNR Partnerships Section Chief. She says visitation to Wisconsin parks and trails was up 26% last year over previous years.

She expects that to keep up this year.

“Especially with gas prices, a lot of people might not be taking trips outside of the state. That might start to contribute where people maybe were ready travel because of COVID maybe they’re not now cause of gas prices. We’ll see how that affects visitation,” said VanLanduyt.

Coinciding with National Trails Day is the DNR’s 10th annual Free Fun Weekend.

This means users don’t have to pay admission or trail fees at state parks, forests, and trails.

VanLanduyt hopes it inspires a love of what the state has to offer.

“Getting out and hiking or biking are some of the easiest and most accessible forms of recreation. It’s a great way to see the geology and geography and just the landscape of Wisconsin,” she said. “It varies so greatly depending on what part of the state you’re in. It’s just a great way to appreciate our natural resources and get out and explore the state.”

VanLanduyt encourages people to check trail conditions before you go.

You can find a state park on the DNR's website.

The Free Fun Weekend is June 4th and 5th.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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