The National Park Service has said it will waive admission fees on 17 dates in 2011.
The fee-free dates will be the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Saturday-Jan. 17), National Park Week (April 16-24), the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 24), and the weekend of Veterans Day (Nov. 11-13).
While the Park Service typically offers some fee free days, it expanded the number days two summers ago during the recession.
That is one reason the Park Service continues the program.
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“In these tough economic times, our fee-free days will give families many opportunities to enjoy our nation’s heritage and natural beauty in meaningful and affordable ways,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a news release.
While not all 394 National Park units throughout the country charge an admission fee, many do. In Washington, visitors will save the $15 admission fee to places such as Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks.
Other Washington Park Service units waiving entrance fees will be Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Lewis & Clark National Historical Park and Whitman Mission National Historic Site.
In addition, many national park concessions will also offer discounts on fee-free days, saving visitors money on food, lodging, tours and souvenirs.
More information is available online at www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.