Free Admission and Special Programs Honor U.S. Military Veterans
Veterans Day will be a fee-free day for ALL park visitors in honor of United States Veterans, according to the National Park Service.
The NPS says all park entrance fees, including commercial tour entrance fees, will be waived at all 408 national parks. This fee-free day provides an opportunity for individuals and families to learn more about our national parks. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.
The NPS has the honor of preserving many patriotic icons and majestic landscapes that commemorate and honor the service of American Veterans. The military has longstanding ties to national parks. In 1886, the First United States Cavalry was dispatched to Yellowstone to stop the vandalism, poaching, and trespassing that threatened the world’s first national park. The military continued to oversee several of the country’s earliest national parks until the National Park Service was established in 1916.
For generations, the military has conducted tactical training at sites including Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia. During World War II, Yosemite, Sequoia, the Grand Canyon, Denali, Hot Springs, and Carlsbad Caverns national parks hosted rest and rehabilitation camps for service members, according to NPS.
The tradition of providing veterans and active duty military members with opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and camaraderie in the great outdoors continues today. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has a military lodge and Lake Clark National Park in southwest Alaska (pictured at top) has waterfront accommodations for wounded veterans. Yosemite, Everglades, and Grand Teton national parks, and Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin all regularly host outdoor excursions for veterans groups.
On Veterans Day, many parks will also hold special events. For example, one can visit the militia camp of the Backcountry Militia at Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina. Or, one can visit Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, located in northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee, that preserves the sites of two major battles of the American Civil War: the Battle of Chickamauga and the Chattanooga Campaign.
The NPS urges the public to go visit a National Park on Veteran’s Day!
Click to find a National Park near where you reside.
About the National Park Service
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.