The state of Minnesota is encouraging activity outdoors on a day synonymous with a different activity.

There is free admission to all of Minnesota’s 76 state parks and recreation areas on Black Friday, Nov. 27.

“I’d recommend that people go to whatever park and trail is nearest them. There is a state park within 30 miles of just about everyone in the state. So whether you’re at Grandma’s or the cabin for the holiday, there should be a state park nearby,” Pat Arndt, outreach and communication manager with the Department of Natural Resources’ parks and trails division, said in an e-mail. “Be sure to bring drinking water, and check the individual park (web) pages for seasonal updates before you head out. This is a great opportunity to start a new tradition and revel in the beauty of our Minnesota state parks.”

One of Arndt’s suggestions: A hike in challenging Afton State Park, with great views of the St. Croix River.

Go here for more information and some suggested parks visits.

One of Arndt’s suggestions: A hike in challenging Afton State Park. The reward: Great views of the St. Croix River.

Bob Timmons