Eighty-four million acres of spectacular scenery and it’s all FREE! Through Sunday, April 29, 2012, admission to all of America’s 397 national parks is free in celebration of National Park Week. RV travelers will still have to pay to camp at national park campgrounds, but many vendors are offering discounted rates. Saturday is Junior Ranger Day with many parks offering special events for children (click the link for program availability). Participating children will receive an official Junior Ranger badge.

Every year the National Park Service sponsors several fee-free days to encourage people to get outdoors and explore all nature has to offer. Fee-free days apply not only to national parks, but also to national historic sites, recreation areas, forests, wildlife refuges, and all public lands. This year, additional fee-free days will be held on June 9, September 29 and November 10-12. Many park campgrounds and neighboring businesses (including some RV campgrounds) offer special discounts on fee-free days. Click the link above for more information.

America’s national parks offer a wealth of opportunities to explore the outdoors, learn about ecological systems and experience our country’s history. Civil War buffs will want to check out the recently launched Civil War website which provides a comprehensive guide to 1,700 Civil War-related sites at more than 100 national parks.