During the pandemic, national parks in the U.S. were very popular due to Americans looking for something to do but in a safe environment. Yellowstone national park made attendance records in September and August of last year.
The U.S. National Parks offers free admission for five days in the upcoming year 2022, which will be a welcome relief to pandemic-fatigued Americans looking for healthy activities.
The following dates are varied throughout the year and on some national holidays:
• Monday, January 17: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
• Saturday, April 16: First day of National Park Week
• Thursday, August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
• Saturday, September 24: National Public Lands Day
• Friday, November 11: Veterans Day
"Whether on an entrance fee-free day or throughout the year, we encourage everyone to discover their national parks and the benefits that come from spending time outdoors," National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said in a news release.
Many choices depend on the type of activity you want to do. I'm based in Eastern NC, but there are many choices in the state. Here is a list of a few ideas:
1. The Blue Ridge Parkway includes hiking trails, biking, fishing, and many other activities in this gorgeous national park. You can also find more and support the Blue Ridge Park Foundation park.
2. Cape Hatteras National Seashore contains a peaceful shoreline that is great for swimming, fishing, and learning about the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The park offers virtual tours of the lighthouse, and you can learn more here.
3. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is a beautiful site that offers children's programs, hiking, and tours of famous poet Carl Sandburg. For more information, check out their Facebook page.
The national parks also offer free passes for veterans. With the demand in 2021, it might be a good idea to book early, especially on free days, and plan accordingly.