It's day four of National Park Week! Have you taken advantage of this great opportunity to enjoy our nation's national parks and historic sites for FREE? If not, what are you waiting for? Get out there, get active and get into your parks! That's right, I said YOUR parks. You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world's most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites — all protected in America's nearly 400 national parks. I challenge you to spend at least a few hours this week getting to know at least one of your parks – I'm pretty sure you won't regret it.
National Park Week runs until Sunday, April 24, so you have several more days to take advantage of these fee free days. And if you take some impressive photos and shoot some great video clips during your visit to your parks, please do share them with us online www.facebook.com/nationalpark. We'd love to hear about your experiences and see the beautiful landscapes that you enjoyed on your recent adventures.
Also – have you heard that we're giving away daily prizes including park passes, outdoor gear, and a trip to Shenandoah National Park? True story! As part of our "I Heart Parks" promotion running until April 22, you have the opportunity to win some of these great prizes! Make sure to visit www.facebook.com/nationalpark for more information.
And if you haven't already checked out the list of events taking place this week to celebrate National Park Week, definitely take a peak here www.nationalparkweek.org. Just some of the FREE activities taking place this week across the nation include:
- Fort Donelson National Battlefield (Tennessee)
Tuesday, April 19
The Stewart County Visitor Center, in partnership with Fort Donelson National Battlefield and the Tennessee State Museum, is pleased to host a traveling exhibit highlighting the story of cavalry in Civil War Tennessee. Photographs, artifacts and stories explain the unique role of mounted warfare in Tennessee during the American Civil War. The Stewart County Visitor Center is located almost across the street from the Fort Donelson National Battlefield visitor center, on HWY 79, in Dover. Call (931) 305-4447 for more information.
- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve (Louisiana)
Wednesday, April 20
9:30am – 10:30amCT
Take an hour-long stroll along the Mississippi River levee for an overview of New Orleans history. 25 free tickets are distributed at 9:00 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis at the French Quarter Visitor Center, 419 Decatur Street, New Orleans.
- Muir Woods National Monument (California)
Thursday, April 21 (John Muir's birthday)
Start the morning off with a quiet walk through what John Muir called "the best tree-lover's monument in all the forests of the world."
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)
Friday, April 22 (Earth Day)
Celebrate Earth Day with a 5-mile hike on Ledges area trails and learn how organizations and individuals worked together to plant seeds of conservation in the Cuyahoga Valley.
- Jewel Cave National Monument (South Dakota)
Saturday, April 23 (Junior Ranger Day)
Young visitors and their families are invited to take a guided hike on the one-quarter mile Roof Trail and learn about the second longest cave in the world.
- Biscayne National Park (Florida)
Sunday, April 24
Explore Biscayne National Park’s mangrove shoreline on a leisurely paddle to learn about mangroves, manatees, fish and more.