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New DNR Tool Promises To Make Trip Planning Easier, Quicker

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Looking for the best way to find all the state parks that offer boat access, bike trails and drive-in campsites? Then look no further. The Department of Natural Resources has a new tool designed to do just that.

Just ahead of National Get Outdoors Day (Saturday, June 14) the DNR rolled out the ParkFinder, an interactive tool that helps users figure out which state parks have all they're looking for in enjoying Minnesota's wilderness.

"With 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas to choose from, we know some people don't quite know where to start," said Erika Rivers, director of the Parks and Trails Division, in a press release Thursday. "This new tool will make trip planning quicker and easier than ever.

The search criteria users can choose from include:

-- Nature programs
-- Trails (hiking, biking, horse, ski and snowmobile)
-- Rental equipment, including canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, cross-country skis and snowshoes
-- Overnight camping and lodging facilities, including drive-in, cart-in and canoe-in campsites; RV sites; camper cabins and more
-- Amenities, such as beaches, playgrounds, fishing piers and picnic shelters, including which ones are accessible to wheelchairs.

Once users find a park that works for them, they can easily make a reservation.

Note: Entry to all state parks is free on National Get Outdoors Day. Also, at many of them, park officials have planned special events, for both families and outdoors enthusiasts.

The ParkFinder was developed by the Parks and Trails Division with the help of the department's IT staff, the DNR said.

To check out the ParkFinder, click here.

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