(AMN) – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that Michiganders and visitors can grab a fishing rod, ride off-road trails, and visit state parks and boating access sites, all free of charge during the ‘Three Free’ weekend on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12. The ‘Three Free’ weekend builds on the governor’s historic Building Michigan Together Plan, which includes a $450 million investment to improve Michigan’s state and local parks and trails to enhance tourism and boost the outdoor recreation economy.
“Michiganders love our pristine parks and majestic outdoor spaces. Over the last couple of years, attendance at state parks reached historic highs as people sought space to unwind and safely connect with their friends and loved ones. Our parks support so many jobs and local economies too, empowering tourism and recreation small businesses across the state,” said Governor Whitmer. “My Building Michigan Together plan will invest $250 million to improve all 103 of our existing state parks. All of our state parks are important pillars of their communities. They support local small businesses, create jobs, and give people beautiful, welcoming places to make memories. I look forward to seeing the impact it will have on our state parks.”
“We have three big reasons for you to enjoy some of Michigan’s best outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger. “Whether you’re already an avid outdoors-person or someone just beginning to explore all the options, our ‘Three Free’ Weekend makes it easy to discover a new hobby, visit a new park or introduce friends to an outdoor experience you love.”
The ‘Three Free’ Weekend includes:
Free Fishing Weekend. Fish for all in-season species, all weekend long, without a license. All other fishing regulations apply. To get more details or find a local event, visit Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.
Free ORV Weekend. Legally ride 4,000 miles of designated routes and trails and the state’s six scramble areas without purchasing an ORV license or trail permit. Visit Michigan.gov/ORVinfo for the latest ORV trail, safety and closure information.
Free state park entry. To encourage people to pursue free fishing and other outdoor fun, the DNR waives the regular Recreation Passport entry fee that grants vehicle access to Michigan’s 103 state parks, 1,300 state-managed boating access sites and many other outdoor spaces. Learn more about all the Passport provides at Michigan.gov/RecreationPassport.
Building Michigan Together Plan
The bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan includes some of the largest infrastructure investments in Michigan history. The plan will protect clean drinking water, begin dozens of new road and bridge projects, build more affordable housing, expand high-speed internet, improve state and local parks, and support tens of thousands of jobs. More details can be found on Michigan.gov.
Economic Benefits of Parks
Parks and recreation facilities are a big part of Michigan’s economy, generating value for surrounding communities, creating jobs and helping sustain small businesses. Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry supports billions in state Gross Domestic Product and sustains 126,000 jobs and over $4.7 billion in wages and salaries in the state.
On average, every $1 invested in land conservation leads to $4 in economic benefit, meaning the Building Michigan Together Plan’s $250 million investment in state parks will yield $1 billion in economic benefits for families, small businesses, and local communities.