National Park Service to raise fees in Northern Virginia and DC

Calling all hikers, explorers and drivers, price increases are coming in 2020 to local parks and parking spots. Here’s what you need to know.

water surrounded by trees in great falls virginia
Photo by Jaime Creixems

When the new year rolls around, new policies will roll out just about everywhere, and the National Park Service is no exception. 

In Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, fees will increase for hikers, explorers and drivers in the DMV. 

Great Falls Park will increase its entrance fees starting on Jan. 1, 2020. 

At both the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (in Maryland) and Great Falls Park in Northern Virginia, the cost of entering Great Falls Park will increase from $15 per vehicle to $20 per vehicle. Per person rates will increase from $7 to $10, and annual park passes will increase from $30 to $35. 

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All money collected will remain with the National Park Service, with an estimated 80% staying local at the C&O Canal and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Funds raised from entrance fees have previously contributed to the rehabilitation of several areas, including restrooms at both Great Falls parks, milling and pacing of the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and more. 

Drivers should also be aware that NPS will increase parking meter rates around the National Mall and at Thompson Boat Center in January 2020.

In order to match the rate currently charged on streets administered by Washington, DC, NPS will raise hourly rates from $2 per hour to $2.30 per hour. 

The revenue from the meter spaces allows NPS to provide the District Department of Transportation with a portion of operating costs for the National Mall route of the DC Circulator bus. 

The $1.4 million from the 2019 meter program also funded landscape renovations, asphalt repairs, replacement of the roof at the Sylvan Theater comfort station and crosswalk re-striping. 

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