Forget about Black Friday shopping – here in the Pacific Northwest we like to get outside.
State parks in Oregon and Washington will once again waive all parking fees on the day after Thanksgiving this year, encouraging people to get outside for the holiday weekend.
The fee-free holiday on Nov. 25 is called Green Friday in Oregon state parks. In Washington, the parks department has called it Native American Heritage Day or Autumn Day.
In Oregon, the fee-free holiday applies to the 25 parks that usually charge a $5 parking fee. That includes popular spots like Smith Rock, Silver Falls and Fort Stevens state parks. Parking is free year-round at most state park sites.
Washington State Parks will waive all its Discover Pass fees for the day, which normally cost $10 for a day or $30 for a year to park at most recreation sites. The agency also offers nearly a dozen other fee-free days throughout the year, including New Year’s Day, Earth Day and Juneteenth.
Parking will also be free at all parks run by Metro, found around the Portland metropolitan area. Fishing, clamming and crabbing will also be free in Oregon this weekend, as no tags or licenses will be required Nov. 25 or 26.
The trend started back in 2015 in the Pacific Northwest, when outdoor retailer REI decided to close its stores for Black Friday, encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors instead of shopping. That announcement inspired the Oregon parks department to follow suit and waive all parking fees for the day, with Washington parks joining in 2017.
It’s a great opportunity to visit some of Oregon’s best state parks, or a chance to explore some overlooked parks around the state.