All 397 national parks across the country will offer free admission from Jan. 14 through 16 to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
You can literally walk in King’s footsteps at Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, or the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. – just a few of the many national parks that have direct ties to King or the Civil Rights movement, according to a news release.
Other parks that will hold special events honoring King that weekend include the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey, Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Tennessee and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.
“Dr. King led the fight to realize his dream of a nation free of discrimination, where every citizen was able to enjoy the inalienable rights promised to all Americans,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Dr. King’s story and those of so many others whose efforts changed our country are preserved in the national parks, places where history happened. I hope every American can take advantage of the upcoming fee free weekend and visit their parks to experience their history firsthand.”
Your nearest national park can also help you keep that New Year’s resolution, whether it is to get more exercise, spend quality time with family and friends, try a new sport, learn some history, expand your horizons, or enjoy the natural world. There’s something for everyone at a national park, even in the middle of winter. Choices include snow shoe hikes, canoe trips, campfire programs, film festivals, battle reenactments, and music jams. It is also a great time of year to view wildlife such as bison in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming or grey whales at Point Reyes National Seashore in California. A list of activities can be found at www.nps.gov.
The National Park Service will also waive admission fees on 14 other days in 2012 – National Park Week (April 21 to 29), Get Outdoors Day (June 9), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 29), and the weekend of Veterans Day (Nov. 10 to 12).