Saturday, September 24 is National Public Lands Day.  It's been held on the 4th Saturday of September since 1994.  It's all about restoring and preserving public lands for future generations.

It's also one of the 5 days of the year that you can visit any national park in America for free!  Montana just happens to be the home of 2 of the most awe inspiring national parks in America, Glacier National Park, the Crown of the Continent and Yellowstone National Park, America's first national park.

Montana National Parks

Montana National Parks

Let's talk about the history of our parks.

Yellowstone, the first national park was established in 1872.  From the History Channel, "The bill’s creators envisioned a “pleasuring ground” for the enjoyment of all Americans—except for Native Americans, who would be effectively excluded from park land."  President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill into law making Yellowstone not only America's first National park, but also the world's first.

Now Yellowstone seems to have the reputation of being the world's largest petting zoo with bonus hot springs.  If only Grant and the others could see what's happening in Yellowstone now.

Glacier Park was made a national park in 1910, by President William H. Taft,  featuring a million acres of land and 25 active glaciers.  Glacier is well known for hiking and for being "Bear Country" with both Black Bears and Grizzly Bears calling the park home.

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You can probably only hit one on Saturday for the free entrance.  To get to Yellowstone, it's about 225 miles, or roughly 4 hours in good weather.  Glacier is just 146 miles away or around 2 1/2 hours.

Pack up the family and hit a park this weekend.  It's free, and sure to give you memories that will last a lifetime.

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