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Wisconsin State Parks June 8 Open House/Free Fishing

Looking for an affordable Sunday family activity?

Here's a rare deal -- free admission on June 8 to all Wisconsin state parks, forests and trails during the open house. Free fishing in the park is included.

"Open House Day gives us the opportunity to share our unparalleled natural resources, events, and activities with the folks that haven't visited recently or are new to Wisconsin," says Dan Schuller, newly appointed Wisconsin State Parks director.

"Whether peering over the bluffs of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers at Wyalusing, viewing rainbows in the waterfalls at Amnicon Falls State Park, or building sand castles at Whitefish Dunes in Door County, we delight in seeing kids in our parks and adults enjoying the pleasures of the sun and fresh air."

Despite the AAA Wisconsin prediction of a 1 percent drop in holiday travel nationally, the Wisconsin State Park System is projecting some of its highest capacities to date.

People can check campsite availability or reserve a site (minimum two nights) through the State Parks Web site at

"With all the features Wisconsin has to offer in its state parks, we are predicting this to be one of the best camping years we have seen yet," Schuller says.

"When faced with the high travel costs of this season, Wisconsin State Parks can be found right at Midwesterners' back doors and are a convenient, economic and fun alternative destination for vacationers."

State park attendance figures show visitation numbers were higher in 2007 by nearly 6 percent over 2006.

With opportunities for bicycling, hiking, canoeing, boating, fishing and horseback riding at various locations statewide Wisconsin boasts unique and diverse landscapes to interest all travelers.

On State Park Open House Day, no admission stickers are required on vehicles entering state parks, forests and recreation areas and trail passes are not required for bicyclists, in-line skaters or horseback riders using state trails that normally require a trail pass.

The event also coincides with Free Fishing Weekend in Wisconsin, so no fishing license is required to fish at the many lakes and rivers located in state parks and forests. Several parks are sponsoring free fishing activities, along with other special events.

There will be an open house lake fair at Lake Wissota State Park, Chippewa Falls, (715) 382-4574 - Take a canoe ride, kayak ride, bluebird hike. Enjoy games, craft activities, exhibits and talks on relevant lake issues. Learn about Lake Wissota on a pontoon classroom ride. Learn about fishing and how to cast. Open House - Free admission. Sponsored by Friends of Lake Wissota State Park, Wisconsin Association of Lakes, and Beaver Creek Reserve. Nature Center and boat landing area. Noon - 4 p.m.