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Find your next outdoor adventure

Find your next outdoor adventure Find your next outdoor adventure

The public is invited to head outdoors for the 12th annual Free Fun Weekend, happening June 1-2, in Wisconsin. State park admission fees, fishing licenses and trail passes are waived for all visitors.

With 50 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, and roughly 15,000 lakes, Wisconsin has a little something for everyone to enjoy.

“If you’ve never visited a state park, forest, trail or recreation area, this is the perfect opportunity to explore the outdoors in our state,” said said Steve Schmelzer, DNR.

Free Fun Weekend is also an opportunity to try fishing for food or fun, before purchasing an annual fishing license.

“This is a great chance to try fishing or catch a meal,” said Justine Hasz, DNR. “Even if you don’t have any fishing gear, you can still get involved. The DNR has tackle loaner sites across the state, and hosts events to help you make the most of Wisconsin’s waters.”

Free fishing clinics are held during Free Fun Weekend at state and municipal properties, to instruct beginning anglers.

Before heading to a state park, trail or waterbody nearby, the following are a few helpful things to know:

• Vehicle admission stickers will not be required; most state parks and trails will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• All linear/rail trails, including ATV and horseback riding trails, will be open to the public.

• ATVs, UTVs and OHMs are exempt from registration requirements. Resident and non-resident all-terrain vehicle operators do not need a trail pass to ride state ATV trails.

• Residents and non-residents will not be required to have a fishing license, or trout/salmon stamps.

• All 2024-25 fishing regulations apply, including bag and length limits, and species restrictions.

• This is the perfect time of year for small and largemouth bass, panfish and northern pike to be active.

• Locate launches and shore fishing access points nearby.

• 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 moving live fish from any waterbody.

• Always wear a life jacket 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 DOT standard motorcycle or ATV helmet – bicycle helmets are not legal.

• Keep speed in mind, as weather and terrain conditions vary, or change.

Grab family and friends, and head outdoors for Free Fun Weekend. Consider taking the trail less traveled and visiting some lesser- known “hidden gem” state properties, to discover something new.

With many license and admission options available, there’s a package to fit everyone’s recreation needs.