STATE PARKS – THE ENTRANCE FEES

In our world of concrete cities and parking lots, malls, amusement parks and farm fields, it’s good to escape to a place where nature is basically untouched by humanity. America’s State Parks offer that refuge. For the most part our State Parks are well preserved and well cared for. They provide us with a beautiful place to hike, swim, fish, bird watch, camp and explore natures wonders.

I understand that it does take money — and a lot of it — to preserve these parks. Unfortunately the entrance fees in State Parks across this nation are not consistent. I thought perhaps the cost of the permits would be in direct correlation to the number of State Parks within a state, but that does not seem to be the case.  I do believe all states should give visitors the option of purchasing a transferable permit.   They would not only be accommodating visitors who would use more than one type of vehicle when visiting the parks, but they would be increasing the number of visits and their over-all revenues.  An example of different vehicles would be:  the four-door family car for general use, the RV for camping, a truck and, of course, the motorcycle.  The $65 transferable permit charge implemented by South Dakota seems to be reasonable.

Since I live and play in Minnesota and its bordering States, I compared the permit fees in North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

STATE 1ST PERMIT 2ND PERMIT CYCLE TRANSFERABLE RESIDENT SRS
MINNESOTA (76) $25 $18 $20 N/A N/A
NO DAKOTA (13) $25 $25 ? N/A $20
SO DAKOTA (60) $30 $15 ? $65 N/A
WISCONSIN (50) $25/$35 $12.50/$17.50 ? N/A N/A
IOWA (83) FREE FREE FREE

(Wisconsin – Resident/Non-resident)

The Gold Star goes to Iowa. They have the highest number of State Parks and they do not charge entrance fees.  The Silver Star goes to South Dakota which offers a transferable permit.   Minnesota and North Dakota are pretty evenly matched except North Dakota gives their resident seniors a little break. Wisconsin? Well, I just don’t know what to think of the additional charge to people who aren’t residents of Wisconsin.

How about your state?   Check it out here…..

http://usparks.about.com/od/usstateparks/tp/State-Park-Passes.htm

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