Nature Calling

Oregon Parks Waive Fees for Friday after Thanksgiving

Too many holiday sweet potatoes? Gather up the clan—or go refreshingly solo—for free outdoor therapy on "Green" Friday.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Ramona DeNies November 15, 2016

Smith rock state park by carley luehrs  8272127049  fkmf9h

Black Friday at Smith Rock: way better than Black Friday at Best Buy.

You spent Thanksgiving making yourself hoarse hollering at your brother-in-law. You ate too much pie. You drank too much wine. You lazed about indoors—like, a lot.

As far as holidays go, Turkey Day isn't one that typically leaves America feeling light, easy, and breezy the next day. Oregonians, you're in luck! The day after Thanksgiving—Friday, November 25—the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department waives all parking and day-use fees. That's an open invitation to heal family strife and recover from culinary overindulgence in the most time-tested of ways: outside, reveling in nature's calm beauty.

This is the second year the department has offered a Black Friday reprieve. So take your pick of the system's 255 destinations: from the dramatic coastal views of Ecola State Park to Silver Falls' spectacular deluges and the climber's paradise that is Smith Rock. Some parks even have special day-of attractions for Green Friday guests. (Among them: the just-up Holiday Lights at Shore Acres, and an all-day celebration with fellow greenies at Tryon Creek.) Whichever direction you head, you can save that $5 normally dropped in the trailhead kiosk and buy that brother-in-law a conciliatory beer.

Need more tips? Check out our roundup of Oregon's best state parks (albeit with an eye towards summer activities).

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