As America is celebrating the beginning of spring, and at the same time emerging slowly from a worldwide pandemic, things are starting to look up. Some of us have not emerged from quarantine mode in months, so seeking safe outdoor adventures is a welcome distraction as the temperatures are getting warmer.

So, it's a perfect time to celebrate the beauty of America during National Park Week. Every April, the National Park Service encourages citizens to "explore amazing places and discover stories of history and culture" at one of our officially designated parks across the nation. There are many state parks, local parks, trails, museums, and historic sites to choose from, and they will celebrate America's beautiful outdoors this year on April 17-25.

In addition to daily programs, events, and unique theme days, there are special celebrations and virtual and digital experiences for those who can't actually make it to one of the parks during the week. And as an incentive to get outdoors, admission to any official national park will be free this Saturday, April 17. And there's a lot to choose from.

There are 423 national park sites that encompass over 84 million acres across all 50 states, and territories that include Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.  According to the NPS website, There are also 63 sites that include “National Park” as part of their proper name, like Acadia, Everglades, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone.

Just remember to check with the park you want to visit before you head out for an adventure this week, some have been closed during the pandemic, and others, like Yosemite National Park, require reservations for all day visitors. Now go find your park!



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