Our excellent National Park Service has the vital task of running all 409 of our amazing National Parks. The parks really are a treasure for all Americans and creating the park system is one of the best things that our country has done. It’s not easy managing them all but our NPS employees do an admirable job every single day.
The National Park Service is turning a grand ole 100 next year and they want us all to help them celebrate! In 2016, there will be 16 days when you can enter any of the parks free of charge.
The days to visit National Parks for free will be:
- January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 16 – 24: National Park Week
- August 25- 28: National Park Service’s Birthday!
- September 24: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
All entrance fees will be waived, but fees for camping, reservations, tours, etc. will still be in effect. It’s still a great deal, though, and we should all get out and take advantage of it.
If you miss these dates, there are other ways you can visit the parks for free. Active members of the military and those with permanent disabilities are eligible for free passes. There’s also a program called Every Kid in a Park that provides all 4th graders with an free annual pass. Wow, what a great way to encourage youngsters to explore the outdoors!
But don’t forget that there are still 282 National Parks that don’t charge entrance fees and are free to visit any time! You don’t need a special, free day to justify a visit to any one of these spectacular places. Now go get out there and visit your favorite National Park… and maybe go camping too.