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America’s State Parks, REI offer outside option on holiday weekend

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Pat McCrory, Governor
Susan Kluttz, Secretary
Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

America’s State Parks, REI offer outside option on holiday weekend

Raleigh -- REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op and specialty outdoor retailer, and America’s State Parks have joined together to offer a healthy, carefree, escape from the Black Friday crowds of holiday shoppers.

State parks systems across the country have joined a growing number of corporate, nonprofit and public sector organizations that are helping people spend more time in the outdoors this holiday season.

REI again this year announced plans to close its doors on Black Friday (Nov. 25) at all 143 of its retail locations, headquarters and two distribution centers.

“More than 1.8 million people are planning to #OptOutside with us on Black Friday. It’s amazing to see so many park systems join in the movement to give Americans even more ways to connect with our country’s inspiring outdoor places. We are grateful for the park stewards and professionals who make the outdoor American experience so vibrant,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI’s CEO and president. 

“America’s state parks are a tonic for the mind, body and spirit,” said Lewis Ledford, executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors. “These experiences can be enjoyed within a short drive from home virtually anywhere in the country.”

The National Association of State Park Directors promotes and advances the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy. Additional details are available at

“North Carolina State Parks offer a convenient and free opportunity for folks to get a break from the hectic holiday shopping rush and to burn off some of those calories absorbed from a hearty Thanksgiving dinner,” North Carolina State Parks Director Mike Murphy said.

Some fun options include day-after Thanksgiving hikes at Jockey’s Ridge, Pettigrew and Grandfather Mountain state parks and an autumn bird hike at Lake Norman State Park. Also, a photo scavenger hunt is being conducted in state parks across the state. Potential visitors are reminded Chimney Rock, South Mountains, New River, Gorges, Elk Knob, Lake James and Mount Mitchell state parks and Mount Jefferson State Natural Area are closed due to wildfires in western North Carolina. For more information about North Carolina State Parks and upcoming events, please visit