For the first time, every campsite at Minnesota state park and recreation areas will be occupied on one night during the historic “Total Takeover” on Saturday. At least that’s the plan.
“There is no better way to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails than our largest statewide sleepover yet,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails. “Whether you visit a Minnesota state park every year, or you’re a first time camper, we want everyone to join us on June 11 for a historic Total Takeover.”
More than half of the 4,500 campsites are already reserved, but many great sites are still available to reserve for this special event.
Saturday is also National Get Outdoors Day when many special events will be taking place across the state, providing more reasons to visit Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Events include:
“Summer Sampler” of outdoor activities - including canoeing, archery, geocaching and more - from noon to 3 p.m. at Lake Carlos State Park in Alexandria and at Whitewater State Park near Winona.
Picnic Gathering - Bring a lunch to beautiful Fort Snelling State Park, uniquely situated in the heart of the Twin Cities metro area, and meet near the beach between11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for scavenger hunts, a story walk and other nature activities for the whole family.
Centennial Wagon Train reunion - Celebrate the 125th anniversary with a look back at the 200-mile trek from the State Capitol in St. Paul to Itasca State Park that took place in June 1991 and involved more than 50 wagons and 150 horseback riders. Meet at the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Show Grounds on the north side of Itasca State Park. The program begins at 1:30 p.m., following a potluck lunch.
An overnight I Can Camp! program - at which camping equipment and instruction are provided - at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, 40 miles south of St. Paul.
Outdoor Recreation Day - learn to stand-up paddleboard, try archery, explore the Turn In Poachers Wall of Shame display and more - from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Father Hennepin State Park on Mille Lacs Lake.
“There will be lots to do at Minnesota state parks on June 11, so we hope people will decide not just to come for the day, but also to stay overnight,” Rivers said. “We are also encouraging those who have camping equipment and experience to invite beginners along, especially people with kids, and introduce them to the fun of spending time outdoors together.”
Reservations must be made in advance for all campsites at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.
To make campsite reservations, visit www.mndnr.gov/reservations or call 866-857-2757 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Currently, reservations have been made for about 50 percent of the campsites at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas on June 11. Updates on progress toward the Total Takeover will be posted online at www.mndnr.gov/125.