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Asheville, North Carolina News

National Parks Offer Free Admission this Weekend

ASHEVILLE, NC – A walk in the park is free this weekend! Everyone is invited to national parks across the country for the second of three free admission summer weekends.

All 391 national parks will offer free admission this Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19, and again on August 15-16. Many park partners, including tour operators, hotels, restaurants, and gift shops, will provide discounts and special promotions to sweeten the deal. Visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm for more information. Fees for activities such as camping, reservations, tours, or concessions are not affected by the entrance fee waiver.

“During these tough economic times, our national parks provide opportunities for affordable vacations for families,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of these free admittance weekends.”

Dan Wenk, acting Director of the National Park Service, said, “Most Americans live within a few hours’ drive of a national park, and free entrance weekends offer the perfect chance to visit an old favorite or to discover and explore a new place.”

There are 147 parks that normally charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. But here’s a tip – 244 national parks do not charge entrance fees, so you can plan inexpensive visits year round!

To plan your national park adventure visit www.nps.gov, and mark your calendar for the next fee-free weekend, August 15-16. For a list of family fun activities this summer visit http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/parks2009/index.htm. Or take a look at the weekly feature Experience America’s Best Idea This Summer: National Park Getaways at http://www.nps.gov/getaways/

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