The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hosting the 9th annual Free Fun Weekend June 5-6. Park admission fees, fishing licenses and trail passes will be waived for Wisconsinites to find their adventure outdoors.
“We truly have something special here in Wisconsin, especially when it comes to outdoor recreation opportunities,” said DNR Secretary Preston Cole. “Explore a state park, hit the trails or try your hand at fishing. There’s no better time to get out and explore what Wisconsin’s outdoors has to offer.”
Wisconsin is home to 49 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, roughly 15,000 lakes and so much more.
Before heading to a state park, trail or waterbody near you, here are some helpful things to know:
• Admission stickers will not be required.
• All state parks will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• Drive-up windows, playgrounds, bathrooms and observation towers are open.
• Stand-alone concession facilities are open to the public at 50% capacity.
• Office buildings, visitor centers, enclosed shelters and nature centers remain closed until further notice.
• Adaptive rental equipment at state park properties is unavailable until further notice.
• Due to high demand during peak seasons, some properties may reach their pre-determined capacity limits. When this happens, properties will close until existing visitors leave, and capacity is reduced.
Trails• Trail passes will not be required for both residents and non-residents.
• All linear/rail trails will be open to the public, including ATV trails and horseback riding trails.
Fishing• Residents and non-residents will not be required to have a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps.
• All 2021-2022 fishing regulations apply, including bag and length limits.
• Due to COVID-19 precautions, loaner equipment will not be available. Anglers should bring their own equipment and bait.
• Events such as fishing clinics have been canceled.
• Locate launches and shorefishing access points near you at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands/boataccess.html.
Boat launches• All DNR boat launches are open.
• Boats must be registered, which can be done either online or via mail.
• Minimize the spread of aquatic invasive species by removing plants and animals from boats before and after launching, draining all water from compartments, and never move live fish from any waterbody.
Safety• Wear a life jacket at all times when fishing from a boat, kayak, canoe or paddleboard.
• Use boat lights after sunset.
• Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during an ATV ride or while operating a boat.
• Wear a helmet and protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt while riding an ATV.
• All children under the age of 18 must have a minimum Department of Transportation standard motorcycle or ATV helmet — bicycle helmets are not legal.
• Keep your speed in mind as weather and terrain conditions vary or change.
Free Fun Weekend is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. Participants are encouraged to join the Wisconsin State Parks’ OutWiGo initiative. Make sure to tag your Free Fun Weekend photos with #OutWiGo.
If you’re planning on heading out, visit the CDC’s website (https://tinyurl.com/3s9mjftj) for a helpful guide on choosing safer activities.