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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Announces 2012 Free Dates

Mark your calendars, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will join all 395 national park units across the country in waiving entrance fees for the upcoming Veteran’s Day weekend, Nov. 11-13, and on at least 18 days in 2012.

Halemaumau by Keith Burnett

Halemaumau by Keith Burnett

In 2012, the fee-free dates are Jan. 14-16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend), Apr. 21-29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), July 14 (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 32nd Annual Cultural Festival), Sept. 29 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 10-12 (Veteran’s Day weekend).

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offers more than 150 miles of hiking trails and many opportunities to appreciate the volcanic landscape, the pristine native environment and the Hawaiian culture that define this magnificent World Heritage Site. More than a dozen free interpretive programs are offered daily, and special events, including ‘Ike Hana No‘eau cultural workshops, After Dark in the Park presentations, hula kahiko performances, and Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” concerts, are ongoing. Check www.nps.gov/havo for information for all events.

Viewing conditions of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from the safe proximity of the Jaggar Museum overlook continue to draw, and awe, visitors.  During the day, a vigorous column of steam, gas and ash rises into the sky and is visible miles away. At night, when conditions allow, people are drawn to Halema‘uma‘u and the hypnotic glow from the lava lake below the crater surface.

On Sun., Nov. 13, the park will offer a free “People and Land of Kahuku” hike, a three-hour ranger-led hike in the Kahuku Unit, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet near the ranch buildings inside the Kahuku Unit gate, which is located off Highway 11 between mile markers 70 and 71 on the mauka side. Boots, raingear and long pants are recommended. No advance registration required.

Also on Nov. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park holds its monthly “Sunday Walk in the Park.” This 2.6-mile round-trip walk will explore the newly opened Palm Trail in the park’s Kahuku Unit. To register and for information, contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at (808) 985-7373 or admin@fhvnp.org.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is one of five national park units on the Island of Hawai‘i.  Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is also free of charge Veteran’s Day weekend, Nov. 11-13, and on the NPS fee-free 2012 dates. There is no admission at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

Information on special offerings at parks nationwide is available at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

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