Free State Park Access This Friday


Following REI’s recent #OptOutside announcement, numerous states decided to join the cause and waive parking, entrance-, and even camping fees at all state parks this Friday. As with REI’s campaign, the state parks’ move is meant to encourage people to get outside and enjoy nature rather than join the hordes of people crowding stores looking for discounts on holiday gifts.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department decided to waive $5 parking fees at all state parks that charge one on Black Friday. Most state parks are free year-round, but the 26 that charge for parking include Nehalem Bay State Park and Cape Lookout State Park.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), and the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office teamed up to offer free access to all 42 Colorado state parks in what they are calling Fresh Air Friday. And though it may just be snowing, the Minnesota State Parks system announced it would be extra easy to #OptOutside on Black Friday because admission will be free at all 75 state park and recreation areas that day in what Minnesota is dubbing Free Park Friday.

California’s Save the Redwoods League is sponsoring a special “Free Friday in the Redwoods” event, in which admission to 49 California state parks is free on Friday. Note–you need to download and print out a pass before you head out. For any Bay Area mountain biker, this is a great chance to spend the day riding China Camp for free.

Missouri State Parks have also jumped into the mix with a special offer of free camping on first come, first serve campsites (park entrance is always free). Other states also opting outside this Friday are Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Washington.

What are you plans to #OptOutside this Friday? I’ll be riding my bike to Honeymoon Island State Park then paddling over to Caladesi Island State Park down here in Florida. That’s worth an extra slice of key lime pie.

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