Park and Vehicle Permit Information
All vehicles entering a Washington County Park must display a daily or annual vehicle permit, including vehicles belonging to registered campers and picnic shelter users. No drop-offs allowed. The annual vehicle permit is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. Permits are also honored at Anoka County parks.
Vehicle permits are not required at Hardwood Creek Trail or at the Historic Courthouse. Vehicle permits are also not required in any park on the first non-holiday Tuesday of each month.
- Vehicle Permit Information
- Permits for Military Veterans
- Free Tuesdays
- Friday after Thanksgiving
- National Get Outdoors Day
Purchase a Vehicle Permit
Vehicle permits can be purchased at a variety of locations:
- Electronic Pay Stations are available at each park entrance
- Park Offices:
- Big Marine Park Reserve
- Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park
- Historic Courthouse
- Lake Elmo Park Reserve
- St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park
- Public Works North Shop Facility
- Washington County License Centers & Service Centers
|Second Annual||$20 (for same household - must be purchased at same time as first permit)|
*A vehicle capable of transporting more than 15 passengers is considered a bus.
Electronic Pay Stations
Electronic pay stations are installed in all parks, either outside the contact stations at park entrances or near the parking areas. These pay stations only accept credit cards, and sell both daily and annual permits. If an annual permit is purchased, the receipt must be mailed or brought into a Park Office to be redeemed for a vehicle sticker. Please follow directions on the machine and on the printed receipt.
Washington County will issue a free Annual or Daily permit to:
- Any veteran with a service-connected disability.
- The spouse of a currently deployed military personnel.
- The surviving spouse of a military personnel who is receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
- Military personnel on leave or having left active duty within the past 90 days.
Those seeking to obtain a free permit must present one:
- A veteran identification card showing a service connected disability.
- A copy of an official Department of Veterans Affairs determination letter listing an individual’s percentage of disability.
- Department of Defense Deployment Orders.
- An employer notification letter from the Department of Defense listing dates of deployment.
- Proof of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
Please visit a Park Office to obtain an annual permit sticker (Big Marine Park Reserve, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Lake Elmo Park Reserve, St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park).
Explore Washington County Parks
On the first Tuesday of every month, visit any Washington County Park for FREE. No vehicle permit required.
2022 FREE Tuesday Schedule
- January 4
- February 1
- March 1
- April 5
- May 3
- June 7
- July 5
- August 2
- September 6
- October 4
- November 1
- December 6
Washington County Parks will be waiving vehicle permit fees at all park locations on the Friday after Thanksgiving to encourage everyone in our community to enjoy more time in the outdoors! #optoutside
2021 activities planned include:
- A Gnome scavenger hunt along the paved trail at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park. Are you able to find all 12 Gnomes?
- A Geocache Hunt at 8 county parks
Held every year since 2008, National Get Outdoors Day is a day intended to inspire and motivate communities to get outside for a healthy and fun day of outdoor adventure and to celebrate nature exploration. Washington County Parks will designate the second Saturday in June as a free day to visit county parks without purchasing a vehicle permit. This will replace Explore Your Parks Day, which had traditionally been the first Saturday in June.