State parks to honor veterans with free admission

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014

In honor of Veterans Day, Alabama State Parks will waive the entrance fees for veterans November 8-11, 2014.

Anyone who indicates they are a veteran will be admitted free into park areas that normally charge an entrance fee.

“Veterans have been leaders in the development of state parks and other public lands across the country. Several of Alabama’s state parks were created with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed numerous veterans,” said Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein. “Although Veterans Day is officially celebrated on just one day, Nov. 11, we are waiving the entrance fee for a four-day period to make it easier for families to visit a park together. Fall is an especially good time to be outdoors because of the milder temperatures and changing leaf colors.”

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To show appreciation to veterans for all they do for our state and country, a pilot program is underway at Gulf State Park. One-dollar donations are being taken at the park pier to cover veterans’ entrance fees for fishing and sightseeing. Lein said that something similar may be implemented at other parks in the future.

According to Gulf State Park Superintendent Lisa Laraway, more than $1,700 has already been raised at Gulf State Park in just a few weeks. Donations can be made at the pier in Gulf Shores. Each time a donation is made, a bell will be rung to recognize the contribution. “We’d like to hear that bell ring a lot,” said Laraway. “That means can serve more veterans.”

Alabama’s state parks are conveniently located throughout the state. From the mountain ranges of the north, to the beaches of Gulf State Park, options include lodging, camping, golfing, fishing, boating, hiking, biking and much more.

Other parks around the state are offering additional specials for veterans during the week of Veterans Day. Check your local parks page at to see what other discounts and events are available for veterans.

During 2014, the Alabama’s State Parks System is celebrating 75 years of recreation, preservation, and family fun. The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These parks rely on visitor fees and the support of partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. To learn more about Alabama State Parks, visit