Enjoy the outdoors for free this weekend - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Enjoy the outdoors for free this weekend

MARATHON CO. (WAOW) - Fishing on thousands of lakes, riding on hundreds of miles of trails, and hiking through dozens of parks is all free in Wisconsin this weekend.

The annual treat is from the Department of Natural Resources.

"It's a way to promote our properties and the different things we have to offer by getting people that may not normally visit a state park, they'll come and visit," said William Bursaw, Rib Mountain State Park property manager. "A lot of people enjoy their visit so much they'll stop on their way out and purchase an annual sticker."

Visitors can explore 64 state parks with free admission.

"Some are along riverfronts or lakefronts. Rib mountain, we've got the greatest relief in the state from the surrounding areas so we offer some of the greatest views. But they're all unique and we try to preserve different land forms and native communities and different things for people to enjoy for generations to come," said Bursaw.

Anglers can fish 15,000 lakes and 40,000 miles of river this weekend without needing licenses.

Plus, people can enjoy any of the DNR's 41 state trails without paying admission.

People who already enjoy the outdoors say it's a great chance to check out places they haven't yet visited.

"The more people get used to the outside and the wilderness is really good for families and it teaches our children a little bit more about how to rough it and how to be a little more sturdy in the environment and weather. I think it's really good for them," said Christian Degregorio of Rib Mountain.

Park leaders say they hope if people come out this weekend, they'll return with family and friends in tow.

Entry to parks and forests is free but if you want to stay overnight, camping fees still apply.

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