Colorado state parks offer free admission on ‘Fresh Air Friday’

David Heitz

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Colorado Parks and WIldlife

Enjoy free admission to Colorado state parks Friday as Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages Coloradans to get some fresh air this Thanksgiving weekend.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages you to take some time this Thanksgiving weekend to explore the outdoors and make new memories with the people you love,” according to a news release. “Turn Black Friday into a blue skies Friday, a green trees Friday, a white snow Friday… a Fresh Air Friday.”

Denver weather will be sunny and pleasant Friday with a high of 66 degrees. Thanksgiving Day will top out at 58. Sunday will round out the weekend with an expected high of 70.

Ski in high country, play freeze tag in back yard

State recreation specialists say there is no wrong way to celebrate Fresh Air Friday, “whether exploring a state park, skiing in the high country, or playing a game of freeze tag in the backyard,” according to the news release. “Studies show that spending time outdoors no matter the activity can improve one’s ability to focus, decrease fatigue and even help improve short-term memory. So whatever activity you choose, get out and give thanks.”

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife

You can take pictures and share your outdoor adventures using the hashtag #FreshAirFriday​ on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Park finder, trail explorer useful tools

“This year marks the 7th annual Fresh Air Friday event that encourages people to take some time over Thanksgiving weekend to create new outdoor memories and live life outside,” according to the news release. “A Fresh Air Friday celebration can be as big or as small of an outdoor adventure as you choose. To begin planning your outdoor experience, visit the Colorado state park finder or use the free Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) mobile app to discover local parks, trail systems and open spaces.

“Visitors should be aware that Friday, Nov. 26 is a state holiday and some park visitor centers may not be open or fully staffed. Enforcement personnel will be patrolling the parks but some visitor services may be limited.”

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

Denver, CO
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