If you’re a regular reader, you know I love to travel and explore as much as I can with the kids. Unfortunately, the hubby’s work schedule doesn’t alway allow him to join us, so very often we take along a grandparent on our adventures. I believe it’s a true gift to our children to be able to show them this world around them, make memories, learn about nature and history, and share it with loved ones.
No matter if we are close to home or miles away, there is always something fun to go see and do.
When we are at our cabin up north, we spend a lot of time right there enjoying the lake it sits on. But we also get out and explore the local scenery on most trips. Most often, that includes a scenic drive along what is known as “River Road” with stops along the way at several National Forest maintained travel stops (a natural spring, scenic overlooks, a monument to lumbering and more).
While most of these National Forest stops are free of charge, there are some facilities like a local beach that requires an entry fee. But I recently learned of a “can-not- pass-up” deal for seniors over 62 offered by the National Park and National Forest Services. It’s called a interagency senior pass. It cost’s just $10 for a lifetime pass and includes the following benefits nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and US Fish and Wildlife Service sites:
- Admission of pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle for sites with a per vehicle fee.
- Admission of pass holder plus 3 additional people for sites with a per person fee (15 and under are free)
- 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees (like campgrounds)
Such an awesome deal! For more information visit http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/senior.shtml. On this last trip north we made a stop at a service center to pick up these passes for my parents (they must purchase them in person). And since we usually take one of them with us to all our National Forest adventures, we can reap the benefits as well!
Not only do we frequent the National Forest facilities in the area, but also the State Parks. They offer some fantastic beaches, forests, and more. One of our most visited parks up north is along the shores of Lake Huron and has a lighthouse that you can tour, including a tower climb for just $2. It was our first trip to this particular light house about 2 summers ago that sparked a lighthouse obsession in our then 5-year-old son. We have since traveled throughout the state visiting different lighthouses, many in other state parks.
Another “can-not-pass-up” deal in the State of Michigan is the recreation passport. It is a mere $11 (current price) optional add-on when renewing your vehicle registration and acts as an annual pass to all the state maintained parks, recreation areas, forest campgrounds, non-motorized trail head and boat launches. We find this to be such a great deal, we opt in for each one of our vehicles. For more information, visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365_55798_58027-234654–,00.html
We really do live in a beautiful state with so many things to see and do and for such little or no cost. How could we not get out and enjoy it!