Here Are The Six Fee Free Days For Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 2021
Michigan is home to seven national park properties (one national park, two national lakeshores, one national battlefield park, one national heritage area, and one national scenic trail) that attract many visitors each year. Only two of our national parks in Michigan charge an entrance fee (Isle Royale National Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) and the NPS recently released a list of the six “fee free” days for 2021. “The entrance fee waiver for fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours” but it is a great opportunity for everyone to get out and experience the national parks. Below is a list of those six fee free days:
January 18th, 2021 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) – The first fee free day is the third Monday of January, a day that also honors the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. This is also a service day where volunteers work on projects at parks around the country. Find out more at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/mlk-day.htm.
April 17th, 2021 (first day of National Park Week) – “Join us celebrating National Park Week 2021 from April 17 to 25! Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences. There were also special days during the week to highlight the different ways everyone can enjoy national parks.”
August 4th, 2021 (Anniversary of Great American Outdoors Act) – This will be the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. “The Trump Administration worked with Congress to secure the passage of this landmark conservation legislation, which will use revenues from energy development to provide up to $1.9 billion a year for five years to provide needed maintenance for critical facilities and infrastructure in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and American Indian schools. It will also use royalties from offshore oil and natural gas to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the tune of $900 million a year to invest in conservation and recreation opportunities across the country.”
August 25th, 2021 (National Park Service Birthday) – “On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation establishing the National Park Service.” The 105th birthday of the NPS seems like a great day to get out and explore Michigan’s national parks!
September 25th, 2021 (National Public Lands Day) – “Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits. ”
November 11th, 2021 (Veterans Day) – There are many national parks and sites that honor the service of American veterans. If this is the fee free day you choose to visit, stop and think about how some of the landmarks found in our national parks serve as proud reminders of home for members of the military as they serve abroad.
A 7-day pass to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is $25. Isle Royale National Park charges $7 per day or $60 for the season. Since Isle Royale National Park is closed until April 15th each year, only five of the fee free days apply. Keweenaw National Historic Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the North Country National Scenic Trail, Motor Cities National Heritage Area, and the River Raisin National Battlefield Park do not charge entrance fees.