Free entry to Florida state and national parks for everyone in honor of Veterans Day

Everyone can enjoy free entry at Florida state parks and U.S. National Parks to celebrate Veterans Day, observed Saturday, Nov. 11.

The Florida park service is offering free entry on Saturday at all 160 state parks except Skyway Fishing Pier State Park.

Climb the lighthouse or frolic in the sand at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne or at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (formerly John U. Lloyd Beach State Park) in Dania. Go Rollerblading on the 1.9-mile road at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale or take in the quiet  beauty of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach.

At U.S. National Parks, everyone gets free entry on Saturday and Sunday, including Everglades National Park, the 1.5 million acre playground in South Florida's backyard. Note:  Due to Hurricane Irma, Shark Valley, Gulf Coast, all campsites and some trails are closed.

At the Homestead entrance, take a 30-minute stroll down the Anhinga Amble. The free 10:30 a.m. daily ranger-led tour down the trail let's visitors easily view alligators, wading birds and other wildlife. Meet at Royal Palm Visitor Center benches. Info: 305-242-7700.

Other Florida national parks include Dry Tortugas National Park, Canaveral National Seashore, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Also, at national recreation areas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is waiving fees on Saturday at more than 2,800 USACE-run areas for veterans, active and reserve service members and their families. Vets can use boat ramps and swimming beach areas in the Lake Okeechobee area for free. The offer does not apply to campgrounds or picnic shelters. Find a site at Corpslakes.us.

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