Free fun is on tap June 1 and 2 for everyone in Wisconsin’s great outdoors.
On these two days, Wisconsin residents and visitors can fish for free, hike or bike state trails for free, and ride public ATV trails for free. On Sunday, June 2, they can enjoy free admission to state parks and forests.
“Wisconsin great outdoors is always the ticket to fun and on June 1 and 2 it gets even better,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. “The fun’s on us.”
More information about “free fun” in Wisconsin’s outdoors is available on DNR’s website. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search “free fun.”
Stepp says the free fun weekend is a great chance for people to get together with families and friends and try new outdoors activities, or return to an activity they haven’t done for a long time.
The free activities also highlights the work DNR and partners have done to provide clean water, clean air and great outdoor recreation, and how important they are to Wisconsin’s quality of life and state and local economies, Stepp said.
The 2012 Outdoor Industry Association's Outdoor Recreation Economy survey shows that Wisconsin’s outdoor recreation economy generates $11.9 billion annually in consumer spending, directly supports 142,000 jobs and generates $844 million in annual state tax revenue.
ATV/UTV free riding new this year
New this year, Wisconsin residents and nonresidents can ride their ATVs or UTVs on public trails for free on those two days. A law advanced by the Wisconsin ATV Association and passed in 2012 created the free weekend.
Normally, Wisconsin residents have to register their ATVs or UTVs with DNR for public use to operate on public trails, or other areas open to the public like frozen water bodies. Nonresident riders normally have to buy a nonresident trail pass to ride on these areas in Wisconsin. On June 1 and 2, the registration and trail pass fees are waived. All other ATV and UTV regulations apply during the weekend.
Free fishing June 1 and 2
The free fishing in Wisconsin on June 1 and 2 applies to all waters. No fishing license is needed to fish any waters -- this includes inland trout and Great Lakes trout and salmon fishing, which normally would require a trout stamp in addition to a license. Fishing rules such as limits on the size and species of fish that can be kept do apply, however.
Dozens of free fishing clinics are being hosted around the state by conservation groups and others to help encourage people to try fishing. Free loaner equipment is available at 50 state parks, DNR offices, and partner organizations, according to Theresa Stabo, DNR aquatic education director.
On June 1 and 2, all state trail pass fees on all DNR-owned state trails are waived. Cooperatively-run state trails also may waive fees.
On Sunday June 2, all state park vehicle admission sticker fees on all DNR-owned properties are waived.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: on Free Fishing Weekend contact Theresa Stabo, angler education, 608-266-2272; on ATVs, Joanne Haas, law enforcement public affairs manager, 608-267-0798; on state parks and trails, Paul Holtan, state parks, forests, trails and recreation public affairs manager, 608-267-7517