Free National Park Access for a week, starting Saturday! Wootage!

As many of you know, over the past few years I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time up on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, which…is part of the National Park System.

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Not only is it probably the best cycling place anywhere within a few hundred miles of the greater DC region (just 70 minutes from DC), but it’s also home to a stretch of the Appalachian trail.

Even closer to DC is Prince William Forest National Park – which has a 7 mile rolling loop that’s perfect for running or cycling.  I’ve done many multi-hour bricks there.

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So why I am talking about this?  The National Park Service is allowing folks to use ANY National Park for the next 8 days, starting Saturday – for free, without any fees!  It’s all part of their National Park Week.

There are of course tons of National Parks all around the US to go and check out, and many of them offer some awesome cycling routes.  For example, while down in Las Vegas a few times last year for work I went to Red Rock National Park and took advantage of the cycling there, which was a blast.

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(Technically Red Rock is a National Conservation Area, so they might not do the free thing even though they accept NPS passes, but that’s alright, within the Vegas area you also have Lake Mead and the Grand Poobah of them…the Grand Canyon.)

Any National Park you can find, is free.  It’s that simple.  So, you could go check out my hometown favorite from Seattle – Mt. Rainier National Park:

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Or even my 2nd Hometown favorite – Olympic National Park and see Hurricane Ridge:

PICT6457a(Yup, all these pictures are mine…all mine!)

Simply use NPS’s little search doo-hicky to find your nearest park and go out and enjoy it.  After all, that’s what they’re there for.  You can also see the semi-complete list of fee-free parks here.  Heck, some of the parks (like Shenandoah) are even offering things like buy one night hotel and get one free.  We did that last summer up there on Skyline and enjoyed it quite a bit.

I meanwhile, will be hanging out in a State Park this weekend, participating in the RumpAss in Bumpass Olympic Triathlon on Saturday at Lake Anna.  While the race is technically outside the bounds of the park, we’ll be camping it up inside the park at Lake Anna State Park.  We’ll be staying the rest of the weekend though…just cause we can.

Have a good weekend all!

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7 Comments

  1. Wow, what excellent pics!!! I am very impressed! Good luck at your race!

    Reply
  2. Hmm, I may have to check out the alligators at Bayou Bend. Good luck at the race this weekend. I want to see a picture of the race shirt!

    Reply
  3. Nice! Climbed Hurricane Ridge with my dad on a trip to Seattle, Port Angeles and Port Townsend – worked a sea kayak symposium in Townsend. Awesome.

    Anyway, if you make it to the top of Hurricane Ridge, there are two chimpmunks that live by the marker in the bushes that LOVE granola. They’ll take it right out of your hand and stuff their faces. I need to post those pics sometime.

    Good luck! Have fun

    Reply
  4. Thanks for the heads up! I think I’ll definitely hit up Rainier or Olympic this weekend! It is supposed to be sunny and in the 60s! Let me know if you have any suggestions for good hikes this time of year! (With the caveat that last weekend I was climbing on skis near Snoqualmie, so the snow is still plentiful up high)

    Reply
  5. Huh? I never knew they charged. Now I guess I can go during the day and not worry about jumping over gates or needing to use my lock cutter.

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  6. hi!! good luck in Rumpass!! That seems to be THE kick-off race down south. enjoy!

    Reply
  7. Mt. Rainier is also my favorite NP. Growing up in the Lakewood area with a great view of “The Mountain” was always really cool.

    Reply

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