Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced that the National Park
Service will waive entrance fees on August 14 and 15 to encourage all Americans to
visit our national parks.
“This fee-free weekend provides an opportunity for individuals
and families alike to take an affordable vacation or to explore a nearby park they have
never visited before,” Salazar said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free
admission to visit not only our greatest natural wonders but also our nation’s historic and
There are 391 national parks located across the country in 49 states, many
of which will hold free events on August 14 and 15. A complete list by park or state is
available at www.nps.gov. A sampling of
- Ranger-led programs with free instruction and equipment loans for those who want to
get wet. Enjoy snorkeling at Cape Cod, kayaking at DeSoto, or canoeing in Congaree or
Big Cypress. Prefer to simply chill out near the water? Bring your blanket to one of
the 50 parks with beaches.
- Watch history come to life at military encampments and firing demonstrations at
Antietam, Gettysburg, Fort Laramie, Fort McHenry, Fort Vancouver, Fort Stanwix, Fort
Matanzas, Kings Mountain, Wilson Creek, Kennesaw Mountain, and Yorktown.
- Dance or tap your toes to the sounds of the Pig War Band at San Juan Island, Cajun
music at Jean Lafitte, Ojibwe music at Grand Portage, mountain music on the Blue Ridge
Parkway, folk songs at Carl Sandburg, classical music at Saint-Gaudens, or dulcimer
music on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The entrance fees being waived at the 146 sites usually charge for admission range from $3
to $25. There are 246 other parks that do not have entrance fees so you can plan a free
visit year-round. The fee free waiver does not include other fees collected in advance or
by contractors – such as fees charged for camping, reservations, tours and use of
The National Park Service website provides information to help the public plan
their park adventures at www.nps.gov.