The National Park Service is turning 100 years old this year! Celebrate this momentous occasion with 16 free days of entry to any of the National Parks in Virginia.
- Monday, January 18th (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
- April 16th-24th (National Park Week)
- August 25th-28th (National Park Service Birthday)
- Saturday, September 24th (National Public Lands Day)
- Friday, November 11th (Veteran’s Day)
While many of the National Parks in Virginia are free year-round, the following parks have a nominal entry fee that will be waived during the 16 free days. Make a trip to one of these scenic Virginia destinations and be sure to add your pictures to the Virginia Tourism Twitter page with the hashtags #FindYourPark and #LoveVA, as well as on Instagram with @VisitVirginia.
Shenandoah National Park
One of the most charming parks in the country, Shenandoah National Park offers over 500 miles of trails with breathtaking waterfalls and mountain summits. Drive through the park on the historic Skyline Drive and stop at one of the 75 overlooks along the National Scenic Byway for an unbeatable view of the famous Blue Ridge Mountains.
For a more active exploration of the park, you can hike, bike, or ride horseback along the winding trails. Fishing is even available in designated ponds throughout the park. End your full day in the “Great Outdoors” with camping inside the Park and get a front-row seat for a spectacular sunset over the mountains.
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Come see the place where the Civil War officially ended! The Appomattox Court House National Historical Park commemorates the location of the treaty signing between Generals Lee and Grant. Walk through the original village and get a glimpse of the moment that changed the history of our country forever.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Undeveloped natural beachfronts span the 37 miles of the Assateague Island National Seashore. The coastal park is well-known for the wild ponies that roam the beaches, but it also is home to many rare species of migratory birds. Visit this Virginia shoreline park for a completely immersive experience in nature.
Colonial National Historical Park
Colonial National Historical Park memorializes several important American sites. Visit the oldest permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown and tour Green Spring, the 17th century plantation home of Sir William Berkeley. The parks also encompasses Cape Henry Memorial, which sits on the estimated site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in 1607.
George Washington Memorial Parkway’s Great Falls Park
Only 15 miles from the Nation’s Capital, Great Falls National Park gives Northern Virginia residents access to over 800 acres of nature-rich scenery. The park is aptly named for the waterfalls that form from a series of jagged rocks over which the Potomac River flows freely.
Manassas National Battlefield Park
You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy a visit to Manassas National Battlefield Park. The park pays tribute to one of the most significant battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Bull Run. Get in-depth knowledge about the battlefield’s history with a presentation from one of the U.S. Parks Service professionals, take a guided tour of the park, or drive through the scenic grounds for a self-guided tour. The parks honors famous Virginian General “Stonewall” Jackson and his troops with a polished bronze sculpture.
Petersburg National Battlefield
Petersburg National Battlefield marks the site of the longest siege in American warfare. Over nine and a half months, General Grant surrounded Petersburg and cut off the supply lines of the Confederate soldiers. Once the siege ended, both sides began a northward journey that concluded a week later with Lee’s signing of the surrender at Appomattox Court House.
Prince William Forest Park
A 15,000-acre oasis of woodlands, streams, and ponds, Prince William Forest Park is located just 35 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. The park is filled with miles of scenic trails and offers campgrounds and rental cabins for overnight visitors. There are also many significant historical, geological, and cultural sites within the park.
While everyone can get into the parks during the fee-free days, active-duty military personnel, permanent disability citizens, and 4th grade students get free access year-round to any National Park in the U.S. Save the dates and plan your next free visit to one of these picturesque parks in Virginia.
Check the National Park Service website at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm for more information.
FEE WAIVER INCLUDES: entrance, commercial tour, and transportation entrance fees. Fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and those collected by third parties are not included.
© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2016. |