Saturday, March 21, 2015

Learn to camp, paddle and more at Minnesota state parks

Registration for I Can Camp! and other skill-building programs begins March 20, the first day of spring 

People who lack the experience or equipment to go on a camping, canoeing or fishing trip should consider signing up for one of the many introductory programs offered at Minnesota state parks and trails in 2015.

Reservations are now being taken for the following beginner-level programs, which start in June and continue through the end of August:

  • I Can Camp! – Develop (or brush up on) fire-starting and camp cooking skills, and stay overnight in tents, complete with air mattresses, that sleep up to six people ($50 for one-night programs or $75 for two-night programs).
  • I Can Paddle! – Get out on the water for some guided canoeing, kayaking, sea kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding practice ($15 per boat and up).
  • I Can Climb! – Experience the thrill of rock climbing with instruction provided by trained professionals from Vertical Endeavors Guided Adventures ($10 per person).
  • I Can Mountain Bike! – Learn riding techniques and ride mountain bike trails with guides from the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Club ($25 per person).

The Minnesota state parks and trails I Can! series also includes I Can Fish! and Archery in the Parks programs, which are both free and require no reservation. 

"If you'd like to create some unforgettable outdoor experiences with your kids but don't know how to get started, the I Can! skill-building programs are designed for you," said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails. "Minnesota has amazing state parks, trails and water trails, and we want to spark interest in more families to get out and enjoy them."

No experience is necessary for any of these programs. Instruction and essential equipment is provided. Vehicle permits ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit) are required to enter Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Registration for the I Can Camp! programs includes a one-day permit.

Registration and more information
For more information about any of the programs—including program dates, times, locations, and minimum age requirements, visit or contact the DNR Information Center at or call 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

To register, visit or call 866-857-2757 (8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, except holidays).

The series is made possible with funding from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

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