Get Out There

Mark Your Calendar for Free National Park Days in 2021

The U.S. has 418 national parks. Most are free, but 109 have admission can be expensive but have beautiful sights! That’s why we appreciate the free days when we can visit without paying. Six are happening this year, including a new free day that hasn’t occurred before!

The national park system is frequently called America’s best idea. It makes sense: not only do the parks protect animals, water and air, they also give many of us a way into nature that we usually couldn’t see. Right now, more than ever, getting outside is so important. Many of us have been staying home and inside most of the time for almost a year. Seeing the list of free days might prompt you to make a plan. As most parks are usually free, you should look at where you want to go, it’s possible that where you want to visit is always free to the public. Some parks have been closed because of COVID-19 restrictions while others have new rules, do some research before you go so you aren’t disappointed when you arrive. You want to have a great day out!    

The first free day is this month! You can celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 18 by visiting the national parks. Then in the spring, on Apr. 17, the first day of National Parks Week kicks off with a free day. Come the summer, August has two free days on Aug. 4 and 25.

Aug. 4 is the anniversary of signing the Great American Outdoors Act last year to finance land and water conservation programs. This is a brand-new free day that starts this year! Aug. 25 is the National Park Service’s birthday! It was founded in 1916 by Pres. Woodrow Wilson.

On Sept. 25 National Public Lands Day is recognized with another free day. Last year more than 77,000 people took part in celebrations virtually and in person. Hopefully, there will be more of us out and about this fall with the COVID-19 vaccine widely available. Finally, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, and the parks are open for free to everyone. Last year it was announced that veterans and Gold Star families receive free access to the parks every day of the year to help them relax and enjoy the country they fight for. On Veterans Day, the rest of the country can join them as we reflect on their service in America’s gorgeous national parks.

So, mark your calendars for the free days to visit every single national park:

  • Jan. 18
  • April 17
  • August 4
  • August 25
  • September 25
  • November 11

And for the rest of the year, go to free national parks in your area. It’s great to support the national park system if you are able to but getting out and about in nature is vital for health and happiness. Get out there as often as you can! You don’t need to be a great outdoorsman. As well as hiking and fishing, there are plenty of excellent spots for picnics!

Banner image: Arches National Park, Utah, U.S. by Ben Stiefel via Unsplash

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