National Parks and Public Lands offer FREE admission on Veterans Day Weekend

National Parks and Public Lands offer free admission on Veterans Day WeekendAmerica’s 398 national parks will offer everyone free admission during the Veterans Day weekend in honor of those that serve and have served in the United States military.

In addition to waived entry fees at national parks, other federal public lands, including wildlife refuges, national forests, BLM recreation lands and Bureau of Reclamation sites, will also offer free admission.

“National parks preserve places that commemorate our country’s collective heritage – our ideals, our majestic lands, our sacred sites, our patriotic icons – which our military has defended through the years,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are grateful for the service and sacrifice of military members, past and present, and honored to tell their story at many of our national parks.”

From frontier forts to World War II battlefields, more than 70 national parks have direct connections to the military. These include our earliest national parks where army engineers designed park roads and buildings and the cavalry enforced regulations from 1886 until the National Park Service was established in 1916.

National parks throughout the country will hold special events to commemorate Veterans Day. Highlights include evening candlelight tours of Vicksburg National Cemetery where visitors will encounter historical personalities, the 7th annual illumination of 6,000 graves at Poplar Grove National Cemetery in Petersburg National Battlefield, a Continental soldier encampment at Independence National Historical Park, a talk on the African American Civil War experience at Natchez National Historical Park, and an exhibit and talks about the Roosevelts in the World Wars at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.

Additional benefits for veterans on Veterans Day include a free Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area cruise that will pass the USS Constitution on its way to Georges Island, home of Fort Warren and, in partnership with the Gettysburg Foundation, free entrance to the Gettysburg National Military Park museum.

Saving on admission is always a plus, but stretch that hard-earned dollar a little further with deals being offered in surrounding areas. Grab deals in select gateway communities around the national parks. State park systems often offer free admission too, so check with your local park system to find out when you can scoop the deals.

Public lands might be closer to you than you think. Find the closest public land near you with the free Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app or search our public lands database at OhRanger.com.

The Veterans Day weekend is the last of the National Park Service entrance fee free days for 2012. More information is available at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.