Visit Indiana Week is May 2-8, in conjunction with National Travel & Tourism Week. The purpose of this week is to educate the public about the importance and impact of travel and tourism. The Office of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are celebrating by enticing people to explore the outdoors with special giveaways with the Indiana State Nature Passport*.
“Research has shown that over the past year, outdoor activities have increased,” Crouch said. “DNR saw an estimated 21% increase in property usage in 2020 as compared to 2019.”
For Visit Indiana Week, DNR is offering free admission to all state parks, reservoirs and state recreation areas that normally require gate fees on Sunday, May 2. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a DNR property you love or explore an outdoor site you’ve never visited before.
May 2 is also the first of four Free Fishing Days of the year. On Free Fishing Days, Indiana residents can fish the state’s public waters without a fishing license or trout/salmon stamp. This is a great time to try fishing for the first time. Fishing tips and videos can be found here. For public places to fish near you, visit the Where to Fish Map on DNR’s website. All size and bag limits are still in effect.
All week during Visit Indiana Week, May 2-8, when visitors check-in using the Indiana State Nature Passport, they will be eligible for prize packages. DNR and Clif Bar Bakery have donated 20 prize packages, and winners will be chosen randomly. At the end of Visit Indiana Week, one person will win the grand prize, a 2021 State Parks Pass, a $50 gift card for camping and a subscription to Outdoor Indiana magazine.
“The Indiana State Nature Passport has only been in existence for two months, and almost 10,000 people have joined this free program,” said Elaine Bedel, IDDC’s Secretary and CEO. “That is a testament to Indiana’s authentic attractions and quality of life.”
After checking in to 10 places, participants will receive a pair of sunglasses. People who make 25 visits to any of the passport locations will earn a water bottle, and after 40 visits, participants will receive a hat. Check-in to all 59 places on the passport to earn a backpack.**
During the month of May, all passport users have the chance to get credit for one check-in with an unrestricted donation of $10 or more to the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, which supports conservation and development of Indiana’s DNR properties. The INRF works with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to identify the greatest conservation needs, adventurous outdoor education opportunities and new ways to introduce Hoosiers to nature by providing exciting outdoor recreation opportunities
*The passport does not replace the entrance fee for a state property.
**All prizes are available while supplies last