How to Score Free Admission to Any National Park in Wisconsin (& the US!)

By Christina Lorey
February 22, 2023

Founded in 1916, the National Park Service has protected America’s mountains, forests, deserts, and other natural wonders for more than a century. 

The US is home to 63 national parks (and more than 400 national park sites) that cover 3.4% of the country and span 30 states. What differentiates a park from a park site? Click here to find out.

DID YOU KNOW? Wisconsin has four national park sites: two parks and two national scenic trails!

Usually, entry runs between $10 and $15 dollars depending on the park, but five times a year, the National Park Service offers free admission: 

NOTE: Fee-free days get you in the park, but prepare to still pay for user fees, like those you’ll find at campgrounds, boat launches, or special tours. Click here to learn more about free entry.

Wisconsin’s National Parks & Trails

  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: On Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin
  • Ice Age National Scenic Trail: 1,200 miles through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois
  • North County National Scenic Trail: 4,600 miles through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota
  • St. Croix National Scenic Riverway: The Wisconsin/Minnesota border along the Saint Croix and Namekagon Rivers

MORE: Pictures Inside Wisconsin’s National Parks & What to Do When You’re There

Don’t Live Near one of Wisconsin’s National Parks? The Badger State is also home to more than 60 state parks that span more than 60,000 acres of land!

CHECK OUT: 15 Wisconsin State Parks to Add to Your Bucket List


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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