If you’re looking for a good time to get outside this month, you might the day after Thanksgiving, when parking will be free at all state parks in both Oregon and Washington.
The annual tradition, celebrated this year on Nov. 24, is called Green Friday by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Autumn Day by Washington State Parks.
People visiting Oregon and Washington state parks Friday will not need to pay for day-use parking, which normally costs $5 in Oregon and $11.50 in Washington.
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. 24 or 25.
In Oregon, the fee-free holiday applies to the 25 state parks that usually charge a 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 normally charges parking fees at all its park sites, but also offers a number of fee-free days throughout the year. Autumn Day is the last of 12 such days offered in 2023.
Both state park departments offer annual passes that give steep discounts to repeat visitors. An annual pass costs $30 in Oregon and $35 in Washington.
The Thanksgiving 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.