DNR launches “Three Free Weekend” with free fishing, state park access for all

Three Free Weekend is two full days when Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors can visit state parks for free.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 2:38 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - This weekend, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making fishing more accessible for everyone.

The DNR encourages everyone to take advantage of “Three Free” Weekend Sat., June 10 and Sun., June 11. It’s two full days when Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors can grab a fishing rod, ride the off-road trails and visit state parks, boating access sites and other outdoor locations, all free of charge.

“It’s that time of year when everyone gets to enjoy ‘Three Free’ Weekend and take part in some of Michigan’s best outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Acting DNR Director Shannon Lott. “Whether you’re an avid outdoors-person or someone just beginning to explore all the options, our ‘Three Free’ Weekend makes it easy to pursue a new passion, visit a new park or introduce friends and family to an outdoor experience or place you love.”

These two days include:

  • 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 the Free Fishing website.
  • Free ORV Weekend. Legally ride 4,000 miles of state-designated routes and trails and the state’s six scramble areas without purchasing an ORV license or trail permit. Visit the ORV information page for the latest ORV trail, safety and closure information.
  • Waiver of the Recreation Passport. To encourage people to pursue free fishing and other outdoor fun, the DNR waives the regular Recreation Passport fee that grants vehicle access to Michigan’s 103 state parks, 1,000-plus state-managed boating access sites and many other outdoor spaces. Learn more about Passport benefits here.

Free Fishing and Free ORV weekends each take place on back-to-back days twice a year, but the “Three Free” Weekend happens only in June.

For the best outdoor experiences, the DNR urges everyone to put safety first when enjoying Michigan’s woods, water and trails.

  • Helpful safety tips – for ORV, boating, beach, fire and other topics – are available at here in the Safety Information section. With recent dry conditions and elevated fire risk throughout the state, pay special attention to fire safety here.
  • Boaters can help prevent the spread of invasive species by removing mud and debris from all surfaces, draining water from all bilges, wells and tanks, and drying all equipment before transporting boats over land.
  • Trail users can do their part for invasive species prevention by removing dirt and debris from shoes, gear and vehicles before heading to the next location. Other easy ways to help include committing to Ride Right and following simple trail etiquette.
  • The DNR also encourages anglers to review fishing safety tips and other helpful information at here.

Additionally, the DNR encourages people to recreate responsibly. Before heading out on the trails or water, visit the Recreate Responsibly webpage to learn more about how to stay safe and protect the health and beauty of Michigan.