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Minnesota launches new online tool to compare state parks and trails

ST. PAUL—Minnesota has a new online tool to help outdoor enthusiasts plan trips to state and regional parks and trails.

The Minnesota Great Outdoors website, launched Tuesday, allows park-goers to search a state map of parks and trails and compare amenities.

"Previously, you would have to know which office or region managed the park or trail you were looking for. Now, you have a clear, easy-to-navigate launchpad to find all of the information you need to plan your trip," said Commissioner Tom Landwehr, of the state Department of Natural Resources, in a statement.

State officials hope the new website will make it easier for residents to find attractions statewide.

"This new site will help connect even the most casual parks and trails visitors with the great outdoor recreational opportunities available in greater Minnesota," said Renee Mattson, executive director of Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission. "It's the perfect 'first-stop' for information when planning out a trip to a new area or region."

The website was designed by Minnesota IT Services, or MN.IT, as a one-stop shop for information from scores of websites.

"This is our mission: to work in partnership with agencies, sharing expertise and data that provides full, rich experiences for Minnesotans," said Johanna Clyborne, MN.IT commissioner.

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