Most Americans live within a few hours of a national park, so now is the time to plan a day trip or an extended vacation. The options are endless— 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, historic landmarks, and cultural treasures to enjoy. Some parks commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, but all provide a place to have fun and learn something. If you like statistics, you’ll be impressed to know that there are 17,000 miles of trails, 43,000 miles of shoreline, and 12,000 campsites in the national park system. That’s a lot of monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, and recreation areas to explore!
Mark your calendars for these fee-free dates in 2014:
- January 20: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
- February 15-17: Presidents Day Weekend
- April 19-20: Opening Weekend of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday -- The National Park Service was established on August 25, 1916. The United States was the first country in the world to set aside its most significant places as national parks so that they could be enjoyed by all.
- November 11: Veterans Day-- Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, marking the anniversary of the ending of World War I at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918. Following World War II, the name of the holiday was changed (enacted June 1, 1954) to Veterans Day to honor those who died in all American wars. The day has since evolved to be a time of honoring veterans who have served in the military during wartime or peacetime
Winter is an especially great time of year to enjoy America's Best Idea— the national parks— without summer crowds or traffic. Just be sure to call ahead and confirm driving conditions.
Get more information here on 2014 National Park Free Entrance Days