One of the National Park Service’s more popular programs over the past few years has been the introduction of fee-free days. Each year, the NPS designates a number of dates on which there is absolutely no charge for entry into the more than 2000 national parks, forests and wildlife refuges around the country. Naturally, those days are especially popular with travelers, who often plan their visits to coincide with the free entries.
Recently, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar officially announced the dates of the fee-free days for 2013, giving us all the opportunity to start making our plans early. Here is a complete list of those days for next year:
- January 21 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 22-26 – National Park Week
- June 8 – Great Outdoors Day
- August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
- September 28 – National Public Lands Day
- October 13 – National Wildlife Refuge Day
- November 9-11 – Veterans Day Weekend
If you’re anything like me you’re probably already thinking about your travel plans for 2013. Knowing which days the parks will be completely free can be important to planning your strategy, as it is always great to take advantage of the lack of an entry fee to your favorite park. On the other hand, crowds tend to be quite large on those days, so some travelers will probably want to avoid visiting on those dates. Either way, the Park Service’s announcement comes at an opportune time and gives plenty of notice for those looking to take advantage of the first fee-free day in January.
[Photo Credit: Kraig Becker]