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If you pick hiking over shopping on Black Friday, you may get in free to some California state parks

If you pick hiking over shopping on Black Friday, you may get in free to some California state parks
Big Basin Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz is among the parks you can go to for free on Black Friday. (Allie Caulfield / Wikimedia Commons)

There's a bargain to be found in the woods this holiday season -- but you may have to act fast.

The San Francisco nonprofit Save the Redwoods League is offering free passes on Black Friday -- Nov. 27 -- to redwood parks from Monterey and Santa Cruz to the North Coast. The idea is to offer individuals and families a chance to start a new Black Friday tradition by walking among big trees instead of big-box stores, the organization says.

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However, the group has so far received more than 4,700 requests for free passes. Because of the overwhelming response, passes for 31 of the 49 parks offered are no longer available. Those interested should check the group's website to see where passes are "sold out" and where they're still available.

The alternative Black Friday movement started with outdoor retailer REI, which in October decided to close its 143 stores nationwide on that day and encourage Americans to #optoutside.

More than 900,000 people have signed on to the company's online campaign.

The Redwoods League, which has been protecting the big trees since 1918, decided to up the ante by making it even easier to get outdoors by offering free entry.

A trail in the Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park in Washington state. Entry to that park is also free on Black Friday,courtesy of the state's National Park Fund.
A trail in the Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park in Washington state. Entry to that park is also free on Black Friday,courtesy of the state's National Park Fund. (Michael Gäbler / Wikimedia Commons)

To download a free park pass, sign up for emails from the organization at its website. It's one free pass per email address.

Present the pass at the park entrance (check out the list of parks participating in this offer), or display on your dashboard if there's no attendant.

Also, if travels take you to Washington state, you can take advantage of free entry to Mt. Rainier and Olympic national parks, courtesy of Washington's National Park Fund.

The organization makes the offer in honor of #optoutside too.

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