National Park Service Day
National Park Service Day is August 25th
On August 25th, the National Park Service annually celebrates its birthday. Thanks to President Woodrow Wilson and the United States Congress, the National Park Service Organic Act was signed and passed into law on this day in 1916. This act established the NPS, which manages the country’s national parks. NPS celebrates its birthday by hosting an entrance-free day each year for all visitors to explore their lands.
Enjoy Our Parks
Besides August 25th, the National Park Service offers four collective entrance-free days throughout the year, ranging from January through November, to commemorate and observe our country’s culture and history.
January 21st: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
April 20th: First Day of National Park Week
September 28th: National Public Lands Day
November 11th: Veteran’s Day
If you want to extend your visit beyond the free days, the NPS offers ways to save money on annual passes. As of 2019, for $80, you can purchase an American the Beautiful Pass, or acquire a discounted passes, ranging from $10 to $20 yearly, available to active-duty and reserves military, permanently disabled, seniors (age 62 and over), and fourth graders. For additional questions and answers on how to obtain a pass, please refer to NPS.gov or USGS.gov.
Interested in earning a free annual pass, become a volunteer and complete 250-volunteer hours by taking part in the Interagency Pass Program. Don’t worry; the hours need not be completed all in one year. More information is available through Volunteer.gov.
Discover Our Parks
Whether you partake in the National Park Day or extend your stay, you can save money and improve your health by venturing out to a National Park. According to the National Park Foundation’, “Studies show that time in parks and nature improves physical, mental, and social health.” Unsure what to do once you get there, depending on which parks you choose, try one - or all - of these nine activities based on light, moderate, or rigorous intensity.
9 Outdoor Recreational Activities to do on National Park Day
Activity Level 1 - Light Intensity
Activity Level 2 - Moderate Intensity
Activity Level 3 - Rigorous Intensity
With over 400 destinations in the National Park Service system, you will find a park that will complement your physical abilities and indulge your wild side.
Love Our Parks
From landscapes, trails, and waterways, our National Park Service includes locations across the U.S. and beyond. Each state provides a home to at least one park. There are abundant environments to observe and various ecosystems to unearth. Looking to explore nature-made features, click here for 5 Must See Parks with Amazing Landforms to see on National Park Service Day.
If you prefer to explore historical man-made sites, there are several features and parks to visit:
Battlefields: Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in WV, VA, MD
Forts: Dry Tortugas National Park in FL
Historic Ships: San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park in CA
Lighthouses: Acadia National Park in ME
Presidential Landmarks: Adams National Historic Park in MA
There are plenty more parks with many wondrous features. For a comprehensive list by state, visit the NPS Map to locate and plan your next adventure.
Preserve Our Parks
Yellowstone National Park, spanning beyond Wyoming into Idaho and Montana, was the first park nationally recognized in 1872. Its recognition spurred a worldwide initiative during the 19th century. That influence generated a conservation movement in Americans to preserve and protect the country’s natural scenic and historic landmarks for future generations.
Today, with the National Park Service, the official non-profit National Park Foundation serves to protect millions of land-acreage - conserving and preserving culture, history, and nature that thrives within the parks.
These recreational areas need continued support. By signing up with the National Park Foundation, you can be a part of the movement that protects the beauty of our wildlife.