America’s national parks will be fee-free once again next weekend as the nation celebrates Veteran’s Day. Beginning Saturday, November 10 and running through Monday, November 12, all parks in the U.S. system will waive any entrance fees for visitors, making this a great opportunity to enjoy the fall weather in some of the most scenic and historic locations in all of North America.
While many of the parks are now past their peak period for enjoying the autumn colors, not all of the leaves are down just yet. Next weekend would make a great time to take a hike in the Great Smokey Mountains or Yosemite for instance, where the seasonal change is still in progress. For those of us who live in the south, the weather has finally cooled off, allowing us to head outside after another long summer. That makes locations such as Big Bend, the Everglades or even the Grand Canyon much more appealing. Even the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park still has 29 miles open for visitors who want to experience that pristine environment ahead of the arrival of winter.
Over the past few years, the fee-free days in the national parks have become incredibly popular with visitors and 2012 has been no exception. The Park Service hasn’t announced their fee-free dates for 2013 just yet, and next weekend is the final opportunity to take advantage of this option for this year. It seems like it’ll be the perfect time to load up the car with friends and family and visit your favorite park or explore a new one.
For a complete list of parks, sorted by state, that will be participating in the fee-free weekend, click here.
[Photo Credit: National Park Service]
America’s national parks will once again waive all entry fees next Saturday, June 9, in celebration of National Get Outdoors Day. Visitors to any one of the more than 397 national parks, memorials and monuments across the U.S. will be granted free entrance all day long.
National Get Outdoors Day was created five years ago as an effort to encourage more Americans to go outside and enjoy nature. The event has become a collaboration between federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry who all work together to promote a variety of outdoor experiences. While these efforts are aimed at the U.S. population as a whole, the focus is on getting first time visitors to take advantage of public lands, as well as reconnecting young people to the outdoors.
In addition to fee-free entry to the national parks, there are 122 official National Get Outdoors Day locations spread out across the U.S. Each of these locations will play host to a number of scheduled events throughout the day and they offer further opportunities to celebrate the occasion. For instance, those living near Highlands Ranch, Colorado, can join the First Annual Backcountry Community Campout, while residents of New Jersey may want to visit Field Station: Dinosaurs to get in on the fun.
Even if you aren’t able to visit a national park or take advantage of one of these events, remind yourself to get outside on June 9. Summer is here and it’s the weekend, so there are no excuses for not participating.
This is the last fee-free day at the national parks until September 29, so take advantage of it while you can. For a complete list of the parks that will waive the entry fee on June 9 click here.
Tomorrow marks the start of National Parks Week and to celebrate the National Park Service has waived all entry fees from April 21-29. That means that more than 100 parks that typically require visitors to pay at the gate will have free access for the next nine days.
America’s national parks include some of the most spectacular outdoor environments on the planet and Parks Week was created to remind us of the value of those wild places. With that in mind, the NPS has scheduled Volunteer Day for tomorrow when a host of park improvement projects will take place across the country. Other special events scheduled for the week ahead include celebrations of Earth Day on Sunday and Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 28. Check specific park schedules for events in your area.
Spring is always a great time to visit the national parks as the warm weather means the return of leaves to the trees and wildflowers in full bloom. In Yellowstone, visitors are likely to catch a glimpse of newborn bear cubs and bison calves while the incomparable Cherry Blossoms make a visit to the National Mall – an unforgettable experience. In the Great Smokey Mountains, the wildflower pilgrimage is underway and in the Grand Canyon, spring is the perfect time for a rim-to-rim hike. There are more than 397 national parks and monuments in the US system and each of them has its own unique spring feel.
To find the closest national park to you, click here. And if you aren’t able to visit during National Parks Week, the next fee-free day comes on June 9 in celebration of Get Outdoors Day.
To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the National Park Service will host its first fee-free weekend of 2012 this week. Starting Saturday, January 14 and running through Monday, January 16, the entry fee for more than 397 national parks and monuments across the U.S. will be waived completely.
A number of the parks and monuments will be honoring the civil rights activist with special ceremonies and events throughout the weekend. The newly opened MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C., for instance, will have rangers on hand to discuss Dr. King’s pivotal role in seeking equality for all races, while the MLK National Historic Site in Georgia will host a special program on Sunday that examines King’s legacy.
Of course, there are always a host of other activities to do in the parks as well and the winter months often bring unique opportunities to these scenic places. I’d recommend snowshoeing in Yellowstone, hiking in Yosemite, or even paddling the Everglades. After all, without an entrance fee, there’s no excuse not to go.
If you can’t make it to your favorite park this weekend, never fear. The Park Service has a number of other free days scheduled for the year, with your next opportunity coming on April 21-29 in celebration of National Park Week.
For a complete list of the national parks that will be fee-free this weekend, click here.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Want to get outside and enjoy the first days of fall? Well, you’re in luck, as the National Park Service is celebrating National Public Lands Day by waiving entry fees to all national parks this Saturday, September 24. That means you’ll be able to visit more than 400 different parks across the country absolutely free.
Since it first began back in 1994, National Public Lands Day has been an annual event that has focused on protecting shared outdoor spaces across the country. Each year, groups of volunteers get together at various sites in all 50 U.S. states to work together to improve trails, clean-up parks, plant trees, and a variety of other projects. In 2010 alone, more 170,000 volunteers, spread out over 2080 sites, participated in these events. Similar numbers are expected this weekend as well.
Some of the projects that will be worked on this weekend include the removal of fences near Yellowstone National Park to facilitate the movement of wildlife, the cleaning of trash along a Green Belt trail in Austin, Texas, and the repainting of a fence at the Appomattox Course House in Virginia. As of this writing, there are more than 1800 sites registered on the NPLD website, with more being added every day. To find a project close to where you live, click here.
Of course, if you would rather just take advantage of the fee-free day to enjoy some time in your favorite national park, that is perfectly acceptable too. The complete list of parks that are participating can be found here.
The park service has three more fee-free days scheduled for 2011. On November 11-13, entry fees will be waived in honor of Veterans Day weekend.