Anyone looking to explore a national park for free in 2014 should mark his or her calendar.
The National Park Service has nine fee-free days on the calendar in 2014. On the dates, all 401 national parks will offer free admission, though only 133 usually charge admission, according to the National Park Service (NPS).
Dates in 2014 with no admission are:
- Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Feb. 15-17 for Presidents Day weekend
- April 19-20 for National Park Week’s opening weekend
- Aug. 25 for National Park Service’s 98th birthday
- Sept. 27 for National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11 for Veterans Day
While entrance, commercial tour and transportation entrance fees are waived on these days, some fees — such as those collected by third parties — will not be waived.
For anyone looking for a national park, here are a few parks to consider visiting when the fees are waived:
- Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simons Island, Georgia: James Oglethorpe established a colony here in 1736 to protect the colony against Spanish invasion. In 1742, British and Spanish forces clashed here in a battle that helped decide the fate of Georgia, then a British colony.
- The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona: The Grand Canyon is one of the most awe-inspiring natural landmarks in the country. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the most-visited attractions nationwide. To truly experience the Grand Canyon, be sure to visit on multiple days and see the landmark at different times of day. Consider the February or April fee free days for a visit.
- Point Park at Lookout Mountain Battlefield in Chattanooga, Tenn.: Lookout Mountain provided an important vantage point during the Civil War. Confederate troops occupied this location after the Battle of Chickamauga during the fighting in and around Chattanooga, then an important rail city. The park today still provides a magnificent view of the city below.
“National parks not only protect and preserve the places we most value; they also add enormous economic value to nearby communities and the entire nation,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a news release. “…Fee-free days are a great way to both thank those visitors and introduce parks to first-timers who can find a new place to call an old favorite.”
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.