National Park Service at Fort Vancouver

Fort Vancouver, Pearson Air Museum & Visitor Center Open during Fourth of July Celebration

The National Park Service welcomes you to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to celebrate Independence Day! Due to the Independence Day celebration, visitors’ cars will not be permitted to enter or park in the park on Tuesday, July 4. However, all park facilities, including the Visitor Center, the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, and Pearson Air Museum, will be open to pedestrian access after visitors enter through one of the three security checked gates.

The park facilities will be open later than usual, with both Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum operating from noon until 8 p.m. and the park’s Visitor Center and Bookstore open from noon to 5 p.m. The Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will also be operating a sales tent area on E. 5th St. from noon to 8 p.m., adjacent to the main entry path to the fort. The usual fees will apply to enter the fort ($5 for adults, children 15 and under are free), while there is no fee to enter the Visitor Center or Pearson Air Museum.

National Park Service staff and volunteers will be dressed in period costumes throughout the reconstructed fort to help bring the site to life and present the lifeways of the 19th century fur trade. The Visitor Center and Pearson Air Museum will have exhibits and films available for viewing as well. Visitors can take a flight in a vintage 1930 bi-plane which will be operating from the taxiway adjacent to Pearson Air Museum. The operator, Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane Rides, piloted by Mike Carpentiero, will be operating throughout the day. For more information on the costs of bi-plane rides, visit or call 512-203-2341.

For more information about Independence Day at Fort Vancouver, produced by the Fort Vancouver National Trust, visit

Fee-free days at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, Fort Vancouver

A fee-free day (or weekend) is when forests, parks, refuges, and rangelands offer free entry or waive the standard amenity fee for visitors, so whether you have an annual refuge pass or just pay the $3 fee when you visit Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, you get this weekend off. That means its free to enter the refuge on Friday, Nov. 11, Saturday, Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 13. The refuge is open from dawn until dusk, every day.

“We honor our veterans each Nov. 11 and every other day of the year,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “We hope that this day will serve as a way for our veterans and other visitors to find our national forests and grasslands as a year-round respite, a place where they can take time out for themselves.”

The National Park Service at Fort Vancouver is also offering a fee-free day just for Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day—as are all national parks. Other federal land management agencies that will offer fee-free days in 2016 are the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service. You can click on the links for each agency for details about free days.