The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) announced that ALL campgrounds in state parks, recreation areas and forests will be closed until May 1, 2020. Parks & Trails Council fully supports this decision, which is important to protect our state’s health, even as it may deliver a blow to Minnesota State Parks and Trails’ budget.
People may still visit these places for day-use, but must have a valid pass, which is available to purchase online. In addition, visitors to parks and trails are reminded to follow the advice from the MN Dept. of Health that includes maintaining social distance and washing hands regularly. We urge visitors to be prepared to find a new park or trail if there is a crowd at their first destination.
User fees, such as camping reservations and park permits account for roughly 36 percent of Minnesota State Parks and Trails budget. Last year the Legislature passed a budget that fully funded state parks and trails, but with this changing situation we will monitor how the needs evolve.