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National Parks Week ~ FREE Admission April 18, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, Travel & Leisure.

America’s Best Idea – the national parks – gets even better with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees.

Mark your calendar for these fee-free days in 2011:

April 16-24 (National Park Week)

June 21 (First day of summer)

September 24 (Public Lands Day)

November 11-13 (Veterans Day weekend)

Many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors with their own special offers.

And many of our 394 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee.

So, why wait?  Start Planning Your Visit!

No rules.  Just write!

We’ve been to National Parks throughout the US, and have loved them all:   Grand Canyon (Arizona), Petrified Forest (Arizona), Sequoia (California), Yosemite (California), Rocky Mountain (Colorado), De Soto  (Florida), Acadia (Maine), Assateague (Maryland), Yellowstone (Montana/Idaho/ Wyoming), Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico), Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina), Wright Brothers (North Carolina), Great Smokies (North Carolina/ Tennessee), Badlands (South Dakota), Mount Rushmore (South Dakota),  Bryce Canyon (Utah), Zion (Utah), Assateague (Virginia), Shenandoah (Virginia), Skyline Drive (Virginia), Devil’s Tower (Wyoming), Grand Teton (Wyoming) . . . and more.

What about you?  What are some of your favorite National Parks ~ in the U.S. or elsewhere?  Any fun adventures to share ~ skunks?  bears?  snakes?

Related posts:  On The Road Again * RX: A Dose of Nature * Get Out!!! *  Walk Off Some Weight * Exercise, Exercise, Exercise * 13 Tips to Stay Healthy & Happy


1. carldagostino - April 18, 2011

You have given me a great idea for the next post. There are many great stamps about our parks. I will download and post some.

nrhatch - April 18, 2011

Excellent! I look forward to it! Our national parks are a national treasure.

2. Tilly Bud - April 18, 2011

That is a good idea. We have something similar in Britain, called Heritage Weekend, in September. All historical places are free to enter. Here in Stockport we have a fair bit of heritage so I always take advantage of it.

nrhatch - April 18, 2011

That’s awesome, especially since there are so many lovely Heritage sites to visit. Preserving the past and protecting nature are laudable endeavors.

3. Carol Ann Hoel - April 18, 2011

I camped in Ocala National Forest with my second husband (now deceased). We hadn’t been married long. It was my first experience seeing him angry. We put up our tent. Torrential rains came and we floated out of it. We had to sit in his van, and the roof began leaking. He was the sweetest tempered man I’ve ever known. On this occasion he was so irritated, he couldn’t speak. He sat almost motionless until morning. Ha! The rest of our vacation in Ocala National Forest was wonderful. The morning sun dried up the rain, and his anger turned into enthusiasm. We found a better camping spot. 🙂 Blessings to you, Nancy…

nrhatch - April 18, 2011

What a terrific (and terrible) story, Carol Ann. 😀

We’ve camped in many locations from Maine to Florida and from North Carolina to California and had a few “iffy” nights.

Just outside Yellowstone, we camped at the top of a Butte where the picnic tables were chained down with wind breaks around them because the wind blew so hard and so furious. I felt like we were going to be blown over the edge all night the way the wind was howling.

In Williamsburg, a thunderstorm in the middle of the night knocked down trees all around us. We could hear the lightning strikes and the trees falling. None hit us.

Carol Ann Hoel - April 18, 2011

Camping isn’t for sissies, is it? You have visited a large number of national parks! What fun! You’ve had some trying moments, also. I like camping. I never laughed so hard as I did that night while we were dripping wet. (Bill wasn’t laughing.) We were resting on the floor of the tent on air mattresses remarking how great it was that our old tent wasn’t leaking. Then we noticed that our air mattresses were floating! Ha!

nrhatch - April 18, 2011

That would make a great cartoon, Carol Ann.

With Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck floating out of their tent and whitewater rafting down the raging rapids . . . with the RoadRunner looking down on them from above.

Beep. Beep.

Glad you kept your sense of humor through it all. If you had a photo, you could enter it into the Hallmark “Life is Funny” contest with a single line inside:

Camping isn’t for sissies!

4. jeanne - April 18, 2011

We have visited Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado), Big Bend National Park, Big Thicket National Park, Padre Island National Seashore and Fort Davis National Park (Texas), Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico). We have visited our fair share of State Parks as well and currently live less than 30 minutes from a State Park. Thanks for sharing the FREE dates…

nrhatch - April 18, 2011

We just watched a show on Mesa Verde this weekend. What an awesome park!

When we first moved to FL we got a State Park pass and visited a number of delightful parks in the area. Land preservation is so important for animals and future generations.

5. linda - April 18, 2011

skunks, bears, and snakes?! forget that, I will stay home. 🙂

nrhatch - April 18, 2011

I’ve had a moose run through our campsite, but never a bear. I’m seen groundhogs, bunnies, and armadillos on hikes, but never ran into a skunk. Snakes I’ve seen . . . but never stepped on one.

I count my good fortune. 😀

6. jannatwrites - April 18, 2011

We’ve been to the Rockies and the Grand Canyon a few times. That’s about it. Yep, we have some traveling to do!

My hubby and older son hiked into the Grand Canyon in the pouring rain last year. Of course it was June and we were all in shorts, expecting it to be hot!

We haven’t run into wildlife, except for an occasional armadillo or wild turkey. (Don’t want to meet any bears, snakes or skunks…)

nrhatch - April 19, 2011

I’ve been on two cross country trips ~ at ages 13 and 34. Both trips focused on “seeing the sites” and visiting National Parks. So glad we did.

Wild Turkey? Isn’t that a whiskey? 😀

7. Cindy - April 19, 2011

We’re going away to the Drakensberg soon, just for a short (and by no means free) break. I can’t wait.

nrhatch - April 19, 2011

Excellent! Hope that you all have a wonderful time. I shall have to google Drakensberg to get a sense of what it offers.

8. liannouwen - April 19, 2011

I wish I could say I’ve been to a national park! I imagine it being beautiful in there. Unfortunately I live quite far away and I won’t be able to visit one any time soon 😦

nrhatch - April 19, 2011

Different parks offer different splendors ~ oceans, mountains, deserts, lakes, flora, fauna, fossils. They are quite varied in size and scope as well.

Hope you can get outside and enjoy nature wherever you are.

9. flyinggma - April 19, 2011

Haven’t been to a National Park in a couple of years. This just might be the incentive to visit one. We do enjoy our many state parks in Minnesota who also have some fee free days as well.

Thanks for sharing this morning, Jeanne

nrhatch - April 19, 2011

Visiting National Parks would put your camera through the paces, Jeanne! One Kodak moment after another.

10. Naomi - April 19, 2011

Way to go National Parks – gotta love them!

nrhatch - April 19, 2011

It’s wonderful when land is set aside for animals (including people) to enjoy. 😉

11. kateshrewsday - April 19, 2011

Now all I need is a jumbo jet 😀 I could be like the Mum in the Incredibles. Fly over to pick up a few free US parks…

I’m rambling. Characteristically.

nrhatch - April 19, 2011

Rambling, ambling, gambling . . . it’s all good. I’d love for my invisibility cloak to transport me from hither to yon. 😀

kateshrewsday - April 20, 2011

Me too 🙂

nrhatch - April 20, 2011

We’ve made many advances . . . but not the advances I’d like to have available.

Where are the flying cars, the hovercrafts, and the transport machines? 😀

12. Quotable Timeless Tuesday: Earth Day 2011…Explore Our National Parks…FOR FREE « Positive Parental Participation - April 19, 2011

[…] One of the fantastic bloggers I have recently connected with did a great post on the National Parks and she lists the days that you can get in FOR FREE!   Check it out at https://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/national-parks-week-free-admission/ […]

nrhatch - April 19, 2011

Thanks for spreading the word . . . and for the kind words, Vivian!

Here’s to life in the Great Outdoors!

13. eof737 - April 21, 2011

Thanks for sharing this… I’m sure the throngs will be there this coming weekend! 🙂

nrhatch - April 21, 2011

Even if people don’t make it for a free day ~ weekly or annual passes at most parks are a great value.

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