Free National Park Days for 2014 – take the whole family to a park for free.
America’s National Parks are perhaps the country’s greatest treasure, protecting almost 52 million acres of land, but when was the last time you visited one? With 59 National Parks in 27 states there is surely one close by ready and waiting to be explored. The National Parks Service has designed 6 Free National Parks Days for 2014 when the parks are open for all to visit free of charge. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit one of our parks. Trust me, you will leave wondering why you don’t visit more often. Here are the dates in 2014 when admission to National Parks will be free:
January 20 – Martin Luther King DayFebruary 15 to 17 – Presidents Day Weekend
April 19 to 20 – National Park Week
August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
September 27 – National Park Lands Day
November 11 – Veterans Day
Here’s a look at ten of the most popular National Parks in the United States:
Acadia National Park – Maine, sports some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the country with a rocky granite shoreline on Mt. Desert Island and Cadillac Mountain the highest elevation on the Atlantic Coast.
Arches National Park – Utah, bring your camera! More than 2000 natural sandstone arches have been carved by blowing desert winds over millions of years. A truly inspiring site.
Carlsbad National Park – New Mexico, Impressive labyrinth of 117 cave systems to explore include one that is over 120 miles long!
Denali National Park – Alaska, home to Mount McKinley the tallest mountain in North America. Although the peak is often shrouded in clouds, when it is viable there are few more dramatic sites in America. This is a favorite stop for Alaska cruise vacationers.
Dry Tortugas National Park – Florida,
This is the only park as much under water as it is on land. The park includes Fort Jefferson the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere and can be reached only by plane or boat. The extensive reefs and shipwrecks provide fascinating snorkeling and dive opportunities.
Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona, surely one of the most visited park in the United States. Located in northern Arizona and a short distance from Las Vegas, Nevada, the Grand Canyon is an awe inspiring destiantion. Colorful layers of rock carved by the Colorado River traveling through the Colorado Plateau has produced the most beautiful canyon in North America.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Tennessee and North Carolina, is the most visited park in the United States attracting over 9 million visitors annually. Part of the Appalachian Mountain chain, the park has some 800 miles of hiking trails leading visitors to dramatic waterfalls and beautiful vista views.
Hawaii Volcano National Park – Hawaii
Perhaps the most unique of America’s national parks, this park protects two active volcanoes, Kiluaea and Mauna Loa. Visitors can walk across active lava fields approaching areas where lava is flowing.
Mesa Verde National Park – Colorado, with over 4,000 archeological sites of ancestral Pueblo communities who resided here in the 12th and 13th century, this is a truly unique and fascinating park.
US Virgin Islands National Park – Caribbean, this island national park protects most of St. Johns and the US Virgin Islands. Here you’ll find scenic pristine beaches and colorful coral reefs as well as ruins of the Taino Indians and sugar plantations.
Yosemite National Park – California, known for its dramatic scenic vistas of cascading waterfalls including North America’s tallest waterfall, towering cliff sides, stands of sequoias and thermal geysers, a visit to Yosemite should be on everyone’s must-do list.
Find a National Park, National Monument or National Historic Site near you at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm.
Photo Source: Google Commons