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Next Free Entrance Day At National Parks Coming Up In January

Patch logo Patch 1/14/2020 Emily Leayman
a rocky beach next to a body of water with Great Falls Park in the background © Provided by Patch

MCLEAN, VA —Martin Luther King Jr. Day isn't just a federal holiday and day of service. It's a chance to visit national parks that normally charge entrance fees. The National Park Service will hold a fee-free day on Monday, Jan. 20.

It's one of a few chances each year to visit these parks for free after fee increases took effect at various parks on Jan. 1, 2020. The entrance fees at Great Falls Park and Prince William Forest Park went up from $15 per vehicle to $20 and from $7 per person to $10.

There was no change to the $30 per vehicle and $15 per person entrance fee at Shenandoah National Park. Colonial National Historic Park is set to see the fee increase from $10 to $15 per person on Jan. 1, 2021.

Here the Virginia national parks with admission fees that will be free on Jan. 20:

  • Great Falls Park: 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102. Open 7 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset.
  • Colonial National Historical Park: 1000 Colonial Parkway, Yorktown, Virginia 23690 (Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center) 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown, Virginia 23081 (Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center). Visitor centers open 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Historic Jamestowne gate is open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Prince William Forest Park: 18170 Park Entrance Rd, Triangle, VA 22172. Open sunrise to sunset.
  • Shenandoah National Park: 17157 Skyline Dr, Front Royal, VA 22630 (Front Royal entrance). Open 24 hours.

The other fee-free days in 2020 are:

  • Saturday, April 18: First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 26: National Public Lands Day
  • Wednesday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day

To find other national parks near you, visit


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