Visit A National Park For Free

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The National Park System will waive admission fees on 17 select dates throughout 2011.

Over 100 parks that normally charge for entrance and tours will forgo the fees, which range from just a few dollars to $25, depending on the park. Fees for camping and concessions are not included.

Free days this year will fall on the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 15-17), National Park Week (April 16-24), the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (September 24), and the weekend of Veterans Day (November 11-13).

Out of the 394 national parks, approximately a third do not charge admission. However, more popular parks such as Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon National Park charge a $25 entrance fee per vehicle.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made the announcement yesterday, encouraging all American's to make a New Year's resolution to visit a park this year.

"Many people have made resolutions to spend more quality time with loved ones and to get outdoors and unplug in 2011," said Secretary Salazar in a statement. "There's no better place than a national park to help keep those resolutions. Parks offer superb recreational opportunities, making them perfect places to enjoy our beautiful land, history and culture, and nurture a healthy lifestyle."

To welcome guests, many parks will also offer discounts on concessions, lodging, tours and souvenirs on free days.

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