Saturday is National Public Lands Day. And to celebrate, national parks will be waiving entry fees all day.
The National Park Service has a handy list of participating parks that normally charge an entrance fee. There are six free entrance days per year, so National Public Lands Day offers a rare opportunity to get out and enjoy the atmosphere at your nearest national park.
The fee-free provision does not cover user fees for camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.
The theme of this Saturday is “More Ways to Connect to Nature,” according to the National Environmental Education Foundation, which has organized the holiday since 1994. That means they will hold virtual events in addition to traditional events, to accommodate people who are uncomfortable with in-person festivities.
You can see a list of the day’s events at national parks here. Some examples include a bird count, litter pickup, trail maintenance and garden cleanup.
The Bureau of Land Management also participates in National Public Lands Day. Local BLM state offices are responsible for coordinating projects; a list of them is available here.
According to Travel + Leisure, some parks have organized special in-person events in spite of the pandemic. For example, there’s the Great Mississippi River Clean-up at Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. Or the Lake Mead Clean-up at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Boulder City, Nevada. Or the Biscayne Beach Paddlecraft Clean-up at Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida. Online events include BioBlitz at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and a Park People chat at Mesa Verde National Park.