We could all use a little more time out in nature. It’s a great way to boost your mood and relieve some stress, all while appreciating our beautiful planet on another level.
If you’ve been craving some time in the Great Outdoors, you’re in luck: This Wednesday, the National Park Service (NPS) turns 105. (President Woodrow Wilson first established the NPS way back in 1916!) To celebrate, all 423 sites will offer free admission on August 25th. They’ll also be hosting a series of in-person and remote events.
National Parks Visiting Guidelines
Whether you visit your nearest National Park this Wednesday or save your trip for another day, the NPS says to remember to be an “environmental advocate” and treat the parks with respect as you explore. That means following the Leave No Trace principles so everyone can enjoy the parks and the environment can continue to thrive.
To follow these guidelines, park rangers request visitors stay on the path, hold onto waste until it can be disposed of properly, and refrain from taking natural “souvenirs” like rocks or flowers. As tempting as it may be, also steer clear of wildlife. This is their home, after all, and disrupting them or feeding them food they’re not supposed to have could harm them.
Other Free National Park Days
With COVID-19, outdoor recreation is more popular than ever. Because of that, National Parks have experienced unprecedented traffic this year. With free admission on Wednesday, expect and prepare for crowds.
If you’re looking for a more tranquil experience, consider visiting low-traffic national parks. While the Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone may be national favorites, lesser-known options like Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains are untapped gems. You might be surprised which parks pop up right in your own area.
Can’t make the Wednesday celebration? No worries. August 25th is only one of three free entrance days left this year. You can also enter any National Park for free on September 25th (for National Public Lands Day) and November 11th (for Veterans Day).
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