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All national parks free on April 20 for National Park Week

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 4/11/2019 David Oliver

a view of a mountain: Stunning sunset in Big Bend National Park featuring bright orange Ocotillo blooms in the foreground © Dean_Fikar, Getty Images/iStockphoto Stunning sunset in Big Bend National Park featuring bright orange Ocotillo blooms in the foreground If you've been meaning to go visit your nearby national park or monument but have been wary of the cost, now's your chance: Every National Park Service site will be free on Saturday, April 20.

The date − which includes participating national parks, preserves, monuments and more − marks the first day of the annual National Park Week celebrated every April. This year, it runs from April 20 to April 28.

While only the first day of the week is free, that doesn't mean the excitement is over. Each day includes a different theme, honoring everything from military veterans to wildlife to the physical and mental health benefits of going to national parks:

  • April 20: National Junior Ranger Day
  • April 21: Military & Veterans Recognition Day
  • April 22: Earth Day
  • April 23: Transportation Tuesday
  • April 24: Wild Wednesday
  • April 25: Throwback Thursday
  • April 26: Friendship Friday
  • April 27: BARK Ranger Day
  • April 28: Park Rx Day

Visitors are encouraged to share their park experiences across social media with different hashtags assigned to different days. Those who share #FindYourPark on Twitter will see a "special ranger emoji" attached to the hashtag.

The national park sites are only free five days in 2019, one of which has already passed on Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day.) Parks will also be free on Aug. 25 (National Park Service birthday); Sept. 28 (National Public Lands Day); and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day.)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: All national parks free on April 20 for National Park Week

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