It’s always grand to visit America’s beautiful national parks. Why might 2016 be an especially savvy time to visit America’s great, natural treasures? Here’s three, smart reasons to visit a new park or revisit an old favorite in America’s national park system now.
- 2016 is the 100th anniversary of America’s National Park Service and special events and celebrations are planned.
- A steep drop in gas prices makes it travel-wise to plan a family road trip.
- To honor the National Parks Centennial, visits to National Parks will be free on the following days and windows of time:
- April 16 through April 24 for National Park Week
- August 25 through August 28 for the National Park Service Birthday
- September 24th for National Public Lands Day
- November 11 for Veterans Day
Whatever year it is, be sure to check out the National Park Service site as part of any national park travel planning. At that national website, you can learn about fee-free dates, fee-free parks, and special events that might influence your travel windows.
And, even if the fee-free dates don’t fit your plans, here’s a tip on another, possible discount opportunity. Check out the National Park Service’s National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass Series page to see if you or a family member might already be eligible for regular, free or discounted entry to the rich opportunities of America’s park lands. For example, US Military members can get a free, annual pass, and seniors can get a $10 lifetime pass.
More help planning a national park visit
America has over 400 national parks. That rich diversity means recreational, exploration, and learning opportunities abound to explore exciting landscapes and biodiversity ranging from the heights of wilderness mountain ranges, extensive underground cave systems, delightful canyons, glacier lands, coastal treasures, vast forests, to meadows, marshes, deserts, and prairies.
The National Park Foundation offers helpful resources to facilitate travelers interested in exploring America’s national parks and sharing in its grand centennial year. Access to their free, National Park Owner’s Guides series is available online to help travelers select a national park to visit and to facilitate planning that visit.
Slideshow to inspire a visit to a new park or an old favorite
Images can serve to inspire explorers and armchair travelers to discover more about locations or to re-visit old favorites. Explore the slideshow accompanying this article to learn more about several of America’s landscape and wildlife-rich national parks through pictures.
Fill your travel with great times and awesome adventures. Add a personal bucket list of America’s National Parks to your personal Global Traveler’s Bucket List of Incredible Places. Explore America’s incredible places to add glorious, natural magnificence to your travel experiences and lifetime memories.
Find the take in this article to be helpful? National and International Travel and Recreation as well as National Education and Industry materials come from a husband and wife creative team, who travel extensively in retirement as photonaturalists and writers. One is a retired research scientist with a doctorate in Material Sciences and background in optics research. The other holds a graduate degree in humanities and is the former Vice President of GKE (Global Knowledge Exchange), who served as a US Web-based Education Commissioner during the Clinton administration, and was a former US National Tech&Learning Teacher of the Year.
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