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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bargain of the Century: $10 Lifetime Senior Pass to National Parks & Federal Recreation Lands

I'm grateful for the power of word-of-mouth (or word-of-computer). I saw the notice months ago on Facebook: 

"Get it before it's too late! A lifetime senior pass to National Parks costs $10 until August 27. After that, it costs $80!"

There was no way I was going to forget about nabbing my pass. I would simply buy one at the Horicon National Wildlife Sanctuary on my way to our trailer on Little Green Lake. 

Easy peasey.

Except I completely forgot . . .

. . . until I saw something mentioned about the pass again this week . . . once again, simple word-of-mouth (or word-of-computer). Thank you to whoever re-posted that notice!!

Today is the first day of my annual August writing retreat on Little Green Lake. I usually start my day off with a nice paddle out to the island, but the morning brought dark skies and buckets of rain: a perfect day for a 40-minute drive to the Horicon Marsh.

And so I finally bought my pass . . . just like every other geezer in Wisconsin, by the looks of the Horicon visitor center. There was a steady stream of grey-haireds eagerly handing over their ten bucks. It was like a Geritol Woodstock. 

The park ranger told me they've had 3,000 extra visitors since January, due to the rush to get the senior pass before the price goes up.

You can purchase the pass in person at your own national park, or you can buy it online for an additional $10 processing fee.

You must be at least 62 years old to get the pass, which provides free entrance for your vehicle plus plus up to four adults. National Parks are all covered, plus a bunch of other wonderful natural sites, including these in Wisconsin:

Devil's Lake State Park
Interstate State Park
Mill Bluff State Park
Kettle Moraine State Forest (North Unit)

Don't be like me and forget. Do it now. August 27 looms large.

The National Parks vehicle hangtag plus the precious Senior Pass

View from the Horicon Marsh visitor center - beautiful in the driving rain!

From the Horicon Marsh Visitor Center

Gail Grenier is the author of Dog Woman, Don't Worry Baby, Calling All Horses, and Dessert First, all available on

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