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Celebrating National Parks Week

America's nearly 400 national parks include 84 million acres of breathtaking landscapes, historical sites and cultural treasures -- and this week they are all free!
Girls hiking in the Olympic National Park

Young girls hike a trail at the Olympic National Park, which is west of Seattle on Washington's Olympic Peninsula (by Christine Korkalo)



Did you know that there are nearly 400 national parks across our country? That’s right!  And this week we celebrate all of them.  From the Grand Canyon to Gettysburg, the Virgin Islands to Hawaii Volcanoes – each of our parks is a place to explore, learn and be active. And this week, they are all free! 

Now before you head out the door, you may ask, what can I do to make this trip special? Let me give you an idea --- bring a young person with you.  Introduce them to a world that will fascinate them for a lifetime.  Invite them to explore, get outdoors and get active in the most awe-inspiring places this nation has to offer.  

You see, our national parks belong to every one of us. As Americans we own 84 million acres of breathtaking landscapes, historical sites and cultural treasures – and all that is asked in return is that we support and enjoy these places, passing them on unimpaired, so the next generation may enjoy them too.  

It is this guiding principle that drives us at the National Park Foundation to provide our young people, from all races, ethnicities and backgrounds, the opportunity to experience America’s treasured places. 

That is why we are bringing more than 30,000 students to national parks just this year alone through our “Ticket to Ride” program.  It is why we are working with teachers in all 50 states to embrace national parks as classrooms and centers for active learning.  It is why we have provided more than 3.5 million dollars to national parks through educational grants and programs in the last three years. 

It is also why we are so pleased to be working with “Let’s Move” and together building a brighter and healthier future for our youth – and our national parks.

Now, some final tips to make this National Park Week one to remember: 

  • There is probably a national park near you!  Find which ones at, plus discover the many events and activities you can take part in.
  • Don’t forget to take a photo or video!  This year’s National Park Week theme is “Picture Yourself in a Park.”  After your visit, share your photos, videos and stories with the world at
  • Our national parks are here for you year round thanks to the National Park Service. Visit www.nps.govto learn all that there is to explore.