National Parks Free This Weekend

NPFNPF-P60197_14X48_v5.inddTechnically, the last day of summer for 2016 is September 21. That’s the day before the first day of autumn (September 22). However, here in the USA, Labor Day is the traditional end of summer, and the day is quickly approaching. What better way to celebrate the penultimate weekend of summer than visiting one of our nation’s National Parks? To sweeten the deal, this weekend (August 26 to 28, 2016) all the National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone!

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2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service. In fact, the actual birthday for the Park Service is August 25.  To celebrate this centennial, the Parks Service is hosting 16 free admission days throughout the year, and August 25 to 28 is the latest batch. These free admission days provide a great opportunity to visit a new park, or check in on an old favorite.



National parks are commonly referred to as  “America’s Best Idea”, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

There are currently  124 national parks that usually charge an entrance fee. The others are always free. While these free days are great, National Parks are always an economical trip, with entrance fees that range from $3 to $30 (you probably can’t even but a single lunch at a theme park for less than $30). Fourth grade students can get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes.

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The National Park Service makes it easy to find a park in your area, or on your vacation route. The park service’s website,, has a Find A Park page, where you can use a drop down menu of every park listed alphabetically, or select a state on the map for more info on the parks in that state.

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Author: Jeff McKinney

Creator/Editor of ColumbiaCountyCurrent, Lover of Happy Hour, NY REALTOR, World's Best Uncle, Movie Buff.

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