Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Free entry into National Parks

The National Park Service will allow visitors free entry during three weekends this summer to encourage Americans to visit national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain National Park. The fee waivers -- one each month in June, July and August -- will apply to all 391 national parks across the country, from Alaska to Florida.

The 10 parks in Virginia affected by this morning's announcement are Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, National Memorial, Assateague Island National Seashore, Colonial National Historical Park, George Washington Birthplace National Monument, George Washington Memorial Parkway's Great Falls Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Petersburg National Battlefield, Prince William Forest Park and Shenandoah National Park.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the free weekends should help American families struggling with the recession afford a memorable vacation.

All 147 Park Service sites that charge fees for entry will waive entrance fees from June 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16, Salazar said.

Entry fees being waived range from $3 to $25. That does not apply to fees charged for camping, reservations, tours or concessions.