The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

When Do Free Entrance Days in the National Parks Take Place in 2018?

Sand Beach at Acadia National Park, Maine, Mt Desert Island, Maine

Sand Beach at Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo by Eric Hurwitz.

Free Entrance Days in the National Parks, offered by the US. National Park Service (NPS), gives travelers a chance to see some of the most scenic areas in the United States, including destinations in New England. The 2018 season brings three remaining Free Entrance Days on April 21 (the first day of National Park Week), Sept. 22 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day). FYI, The first of the Free Entrance Days in 2018 occurred on Martin Luther King Day in January).

The admission free days provide a tremendous opportunity to visit one of the national parks in the USA normally charging an entrance fee. Keep this in mind, however: The National Park Service web site states that “entrance fee waiver for fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.”

Here are the participating Free Entrance Days national parks in New England, according to NPS:

Acadia National Park

Adams National Historical Park
Cape Cod National Seashore

New Hampshire
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

For a complete list of participating national parks, click here.

If you are not able to visit a participating national park on an admission free day, no worries! The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass offers unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks that normally charge an entrance fee, according to the NPS web site. The NPS web site also states, “There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth-grade students, and disabled citizens. Learn more about the variety of passes offered by the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass series.”

Hope you get to go. So many of these national parks are simply American travel treasures!

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