The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites the public to head outdoors for the 11th annual Free Fun Weekend happening June 3-4, 2023. State park admission fees, fishing licenses and trail passes are waived for all Wisconsin residents and non-residents.
With 50 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, 84,000 miles of rivers and streams and roughly 15,000 lakes, the DNR invites Wisconsinites to discover a new favorite park, trail, forest or recreation area, or to try a new activity during Free Fun Weekend. This is the perfect time to get outdoors and find your adventure in Wisconsin.
“Free Fun Weekend is always a great opportunity for the DNR property crews to welcome summer visitors back,” said Steve Schmelzer, DNR Bureau Director of Parks and Recreation Management. “If you’ve never visited a state park, forest, trail or recreation area, this is the perfect weekend to find your outdoor adventure.”
Free Fun Weekend is an opportunity for more residents to visit the parks and to give fishing for food or fun a try. All the waters of the state are open to residents and non-residents alike.
“If you haven’t fished in a while or never fished Free Fun Weekend is a great chance to give it a try,” said Justine Hasz, DNR Bureau Director of Fisheries Management. “If you don’t have any fishing gear, no problem. You can check out our tackle loaner sites or join one of the many free events over the weekend, and enjoy your time in Wisconsin’s great outdoors.”
Free fishing clinics are held this weekend at state and municipal properties to provide instruction for beginning anglers. Find fishing clinics and more Free Fun events by visiting the DNR’s events calendar.
Find a full list of Wisconsin state properties, activities and maps by visiting the DNR’s website. Reserve a shelter or campsite through the DNR’s online booking system. Before heading to a state park, trail or waterbody near you, here are some helpful things to know:
- Vehicle admission stickers will not be required.
- All state parks and trails will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Programs and events are posted online at the DNR’s website.
- All linear/rail trails will be open to the public, including ATV trails and horseback riding trails.
- ATV, 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 2023-2024 fishing regulations apply, including bag and length limits.
- This is the perfect time of year for small and largemouth bass, panfish and northern pike to be active.
- New to fishing? Check out free clinics hosted at state properties.
- Locate launches and shore fishing access points near you.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Grab your family and friends and head outdoors for Free Fun Weekend! Take the trail less traveled and head to some lesser known “hidden gem” state properties. Make sure to tag your Free Fun Weekend photos with #OutWiGo.