September 24th is a historically important date. It's marks the day CBS debuted 60 Minutes, Nirvana released Nevermind, and, most importantly, National Public Lands Day. That particular day got its start in 1994 when a group of 700 volunteers teamed up with a few federal agencies (like the Bureau of Land Management) to go clean up parks, trails, and things of that, well, nature. In Colorado -- where over 35% of land is public and eco-tourism rakes in over $10 billion annually for the economy -- it's kind of a big deal.
Although calling your boss and exclaiming that's it National Public Lands Day won't get you the day off, it will get you into some of Colorado's most beautiful parks for free:
• Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
• Colorado National Monument
• Dinosaur National Monument
• Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
• Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
• Mesa Verde National Park
• Rocky Mountain National Park
This means free hiking, unrestricted access to some of Colorado's most beautiful places you've probably never heard of, and of course, a ton of people with dogs and Nalgenes who'll find any excuse to tell you about the 14er they hiked twice last year.
If relaxing walks through Mother Nature's beautiful bounty sound boring to you, you can hit up Public Lands Palooza (which has to be great, right? I mean, it's a Palooza!). It's there you'll find the largest flashdance in the country, food, and people from the parks department regaling you with stories about parks and being healthy. If you're outside of Denver, check the National Environmental Education Foundation's website for a Palooza near you.
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