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Oldest Building on D.C.'s National Mall Reopens After Restoration

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/25/2018, 4:45 PM

You've probably never heard of the Lockkeeper's House in Washington, D.C. There's a good reason for that. It's been closed for decades. But this unassuming stone building at the corner of Constitution Ave. and 17th St. NW is actually the oldest structure on the National Mall. Built in 1835, the building is now open to the public after a restoration that took nearly two years.  Using funds from ...

Spike in Price of Lifetime National Parks Pass for Seniors

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/12/2017, 4:00 AM

The price of a lifetime national parks pass for U.S. seniors is about to go way up. Since 1994, Americans aged 62 or older have been able to purchase access for just $10 to more than 2,000 sites managed by the National Park Service—a pass that remains valid for the rest of the purchaser's life. But on August 28, the fee is jumping to $80.  Even with the steep increase, which was ap...

Grand Canyon Celebrates 6 Million Visitors—Then Takes It Back

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/06/2017, 4:00 AM

Back in December, officials at the Grand Canyon in Arizona honored a family of four from Las Vegas as the national park's record-breaking 6 millionth guests of the year.  How can four people be one number? They can't. The park relies on traffic counters, permits, concessions records, and other figures to calculate visitor numbers. But since those who do the calculating determined that the ...

Most Visited U.S. National Parks in a Record-Setting Year

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/13/2017, 4:00 AM

The National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016, and a record number of guests joined the party. The agency logged 331 million visits at the sites it manages, including 59 national parks as well as hundreds of monuments, memorials, scenic drives, historical landmarks, and nature preserves across the United States. The numbers for 2016 were 7.7% higher than the previous year...

Days When You Can Visit U.S. National Parks for Free in 2017

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/20/2017, 5:00 AM

The first of 2017's free-admission days at U.S. national parks is already behind us—it was Martin Luther King Day.  But before the year is over you'll have nine more chances to enjoy at no charge all the sites maintained by the National Park Service—from all-time faves like Yosemite and Yellowstone to overlooked gems such as Big Bend in Texas and Crater Lake in Oregon. Here are the rem...

In Final Days in Office, Obama Designates Five New National Monuments

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/17/2017, 5:00 AM

On Thursday, during Barack Obama's last full week in office, the president did for the (probably) last time something he's done more than anybody else who's occupied the White House: He designated some new national monuments. Five of them, to be exact.   Exercising his power under the 1906 Antiquities Act to preserve sites of historic, cultural, and ecological importance, Obama added t...

Obama Names New National Monument in Maine

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/29/2016, 4:00 AM

Mount Katahdin in Maine (photo: InAweOfGod'sCreation/Flickr) On Wednesday of last week—the day before the National Park Service's 100th birthday—President Barack Obama created the 413th site in the system: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.  It's located in northern Maine, on 87,000 acres donated by Burt's Bees founder Roxanne Quimby. The monument encompasses the East Br...

Wisconsin's Apostle Islands Celebrate Historic Lighthouses

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/05/2016, 1:15 PM

Just in time for the National Park Service's 100th birthday on August 25, northern Wisconsin's Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is opening an exhibit celebrating its nine lighthouses—the most within a single National Park Service jurisdiction. Built between 1856 and 1915, the beacons dot an archipelago of remote islands at the northern tip of the state's Bayfield peninsula. The lighthous...

Free National Park entry April 19 and 20

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/15/2014, 9:45 PM

The National Park Service and its supporting charity, the National Park Foundation, are once again throwing the gates open to the United States' national parks. The weekend of April 19 and 20 will see fees waived across the country.  Some particularly timely national park units to visit are the ones that are marking the 150th anniversary of Civil War battles this year, including Petersburg...

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