A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
DOINews: National Parks Offering Free Entrance on Sept. 29 - National Public Lands Day
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the national parks hosting a a National Public Lands Day volunteer event to restore trails, vegetation and campgrounds. Photo of the park's Loch Vale Trail by NPS.
WASHINGTON — All 397 national parks will offer free entrance on Saturday, Sept. 29, for National Public Lands Day. The 19th annual event encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Visit www.nps.gov for a list of parks and information to help plan your park adventure.
“National Public Lands Day reminds all of us of the vast and diverse nature of America's open spaces, from small neighborhood parks to large national parks, and the importance of each one,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are fortunate that more than 600 million acres of public land, including national parks, provide all of us with cherished places where we can go to unwind, recreate, or learn.”
Many people will lend a hand to help the land and spend part of National Public Lands Day volunteering on work projects. More than 170,000 people are expected to plant trees, clean watersheds, remove invasive plants, replace signs, and otherwise beautify 2,000 public sites throughout the country. Visit www.publiclandsday.org for more information.
Some of the national parks hosting volunteer events are Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia, San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia. Anyone who volunteers for a National Park Service work project will receive a coupon good for future entrance to a national park.
Other federal agencies offering free admittance on Sept. 29 include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the USDA Forest Service.
Normally, 133 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 264 parks do not charge for admission. The National Park Service will also waive entrance fees from Nov. 10-12 in commemoration of Veterans Day.