This Saturday, September 29th, is National Public Lands Day, and you can get into national parks, including Rainier, as well as all our state parks and many other special spots for my favorite price-Free! Update: I also got a nice note from The Wilderness Society, with information on how you can spend this day volunteering, and get a pass for a future free visit good for up to a year! You can check out their blog for the scoop on this and more ideas. Keep reading for suggestions from yours truly.
Sites that will waive fees include national parks, national forests,Washington State Parks, US fish and wildlife sites, and Bureau of Land Management spots. You will still have to pay fees at state fish and wildlife sites and sites managed by the state Department of National Resources. Clearly, you’ll have plenty of free to choose from!
The hard part, of course, is deciding where to go! You might want to head down to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, where there will be a family friendly, watershed festival. Kids love the boardwalk and playground, too. Note that parking is off site Saturday.
Mt.Rainier is another option. I think you should get an early start and be prepared for a crowd. Once you make your way in, you can easily find your way from the crowds with a short, easy hike. Any ranger can give you suggestions, or read my post on a family trip to Mt.Rainier for more ideas. I also wrote a post with a list of family friendly hikes a bit closer than Rainier.
My Gig Harbor readers might enjoy the Donkey Creek Chum Festival, and readers near Olympia can join the Capitol Volksport group for a walk through autumn colors at Millersylvania State Park. If you don’t have a Discover Pass, you might just use the day to explore one of our state parks. Saltwater and Dash Point are particularly nice choices, with both beach and trails to explore.
If all of this sounds a little too outdoors-y for you, this Saturday is Also Smithsonian Free Museum Day, and as usual, I’ll have even more options in your weekend list Friday morning. I know…..it’s going to be hard to choose!