Here’s A Black Friday Discount We Can Get Behind: Free Admission To State Parks

If opposing crowds at a Black Friday sale isn’t your style, heading to a country park may be an ideal alternative.

Following in the footsteps of outdoor retailer REI, which is closing its stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday and encouraging employees and customers to instead #OptOutside, some countries are waiving country park admission fees for the holiday. Others are offering guests free guided hikes or prizes.

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Arizonans can head to their nearest REI store to pick up a free pass for any of the state’s parks, including Slide Rock and Tonto Natural Bridge. If you want a pass, act quickly — every REI will be closed Thanksgiving and on Friday.


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The Save the Redwoods League teamed up with California State Parks to offer a limited number of free passes to country parks on Friday. Most of those passes have already been snapped up, but check the list here to insure what’s still available.



Colorado is declaring “Fresh Air Friday, ” offering free admission to all 42 country parks.

“We hope this offer inspires families in particular to make an outdoor adventure at a Colorado State Park not only a Thanksgiving tradition for their kids but a regular activity all year long, ” said Great Outdoors Colorado’s executive director, Lise Aangeenbrug.


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All of Delaware’s state parks will be free on Friday.


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Everyone who visits a Kansas state park on Friday and posts a photo of their visit with the hashtag #myksstatepark will be entered in a describing to win a bide in a state park cabin.


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Minnesota is waiving admission at 75 country parks and recreation areas. Visitors are encouraged to post photos with the hashtags #FreeParkFriday and #OnlyInMN.


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Missourians can camp for free in any country park on Friday. Additionally, some parks will have free programming, like group hikes and bike rides.


Auzigog/ Flickr Went to the coast for the weekend with some friends from Corvallis. I had an amazing hour. While the latter are surfing in the icey water, I hiked up a trail to get some photos. This is a panorama stiched together from 27 photos. Right as I was taking the last photo, it started pouring rainfall. I ran down the trail in an effort to get back to the beach and assistance carry stuff, merely to find that my friends had already carried everything( including my camera container) back to the car. Oops. Check it out large on black This version is based on a suggest crop of the original version.” data-pinterest-url= “”>

Oregon is waiving day parking fees at all state parks.

North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park will offer free, guided hikes and information sessions to guests on Friday.

The park, which is America’s most visited, has more than 800 miles of trails.


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Tennessee is encouraging Black Friday hikers to post photos to social media with the hashtag #TNgobblewobble to be entered to win a stay in a state park cabin or inn.

All 56 country parks also are offering free guided hikes on Friday.


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Washington’s famed national parks, Mount Ranier and Olympic, will be free to enter on Friday, sponsored by Washington’s National park Fund.

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