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Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
National Parks Offer 10 Free Days in 2017.  Each year the National Park Service sets aside a series of days for which the entrance fees are waived. It is a chance to take the kids and get in free.  General George Washington at Valley Forge

Mark your calendars.
The fee-free entrance days for 2017 include Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, National Park Week in April, National Park Service Birthday the end of August, National Public Lands Day in September, and Veterans Day in November. 

Make an African American connection.
Among the dozens of other national parks that celebrate African American achievements are New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in Louisiana, Sequoia National Park in California, George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama, and Nicodemus National Historical Site in Kansas. The National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places also recognizes key locations associated with African American history. Their travel itineraries, We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement and Aboard the Underground Railroad, provide details on more than 100 significant sites.  Sunset Crater Hiking in Arizona National Parks Free Days

Visit authentic America. With more than 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, 17,000 miles of trails, 5,000 miles of shoreline, 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures, and 100 million museum items and an infinite number of authentic American stories to tell, national parks offer something for every taste.

Go for the "WOWs." Those in search of superlatives will find them in national parks including the country’s highest point in Denali National Park and lowest point in Death Valley National Park, deepest lake is within Crater Lake National Park, longest cave may be toured at Mammoth Cave National Park, tallest trees may be found in Redwood National Park, and highest waterfall is most certainly in Yosemite National Park.   Okefenoke National Wildlife Refuge

Here’s the deal.
Usually, 127 of the 409 National Park Service sites charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for things like camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours. Bonus Points: USFWS, BLM, and US Forest Service will also waive entrance fees on certain days to encourage folks to get outside and get active.

To continue the national park adventure beyond these fee free days, the $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 sites, including all national parks, throughout the year. There are also a variety of free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

National park passes that provide free or discounted admission are available for active duty military members and their dependents, senior citizens, and people with permanent disabilities. Plus “Every Kid in a Park” offers ready-made adventures for fourth graders with a pass that provides free access to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.

Make it happen. Visit www.nps.gov and find your park. More options on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. 

Information provided by National Park Service with images of George Washington at Valley Forge, Sunset Crater in Arizona and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia from the Family Travel Files archives. Copyright updated for 2017.


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