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This Thanksgiving, there’s plenty to be thankful for—a FREE ride, FREE admission, FREE guided tour, and FREE parking are all part of Homestead’s award-winning National Parks Trolley Service. The wildly popular program returns for its third season just in time for Thanksgiving weekend Saturday, November 28, 2015 and runs every Saturday and Sunday through May 1, 2016. The Trolley departs from Downtown Homestead, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can enjoy local area restaurants, take in Homestead’s beautiful historic architecture, or visit the free Old Town Hall Museum before or after their visit to the parks.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley can be picked up at Losner Park in Historic Downtown Homestead at 104 N. Krome Avenue. The trolley connects to bus routes from Miami-Dade County public transportation. There is also plenty of free parking adjacent to the trolley stop. From Downtown Homestead, the National Parks Trolley will bring visitors to Everglades National Park’s Ernest Coe Visitor Center and as an added benefit, the entrance fee for Everglades National Park is waived for all trolley riders to visit the Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm. It also travels to Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center and boardwalk and to the atoll beach at Miami-Dade County’s Homestead Bayfront Park (where the entrance fee is also waived).
According to Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos, “last season had record-breaking ridership and was very successful in connecting the local community to the park. We are grateful to the City of Homestead for this great partnership and look forward to another banner year, especially as we work together to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service.”
According to Biscayne National Park’s Acting Superintendent Sula Jacobs, "Whether it is a first trip to the national parks or the hundredth, trolley passengers see the increasing wonders of the city as well as the parks," said Biscayne National Park Acting Superintendent Sula Jacobs. "The connection between the city and the parks highlights this amazing and unique area."
The National Parks Trolley is the only public transportation available to these nearby natural treasures and is one of the first programs of its kind in the nation. It recently won the National Park Service’s prestigious Director’s Partnership Award, which honors a select group of projects nationwide with significant accomplishments achieved by Parks and outside groups working together.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley is the result of coordinated efforts. It was spearheaded by City of Homestead Councilman Stephen Shelley, between the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), in collaboration with the National Park Service and the City of Homestead. NPCA is America’s voice for national parks and works to protect and enhance America’s National Park System for current and future generations.
Riders on the Trolley are also encouraged to snap and save this year with the new “selfie” discount program. Participating businesses will offer various discounts and deals to riders when they show their “selfie” taken the same day they ride the National Parks Trolley.
For more information about Everglades National Park, please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
For more information about Biscayne National Park, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/bisc
For more information on the Homestead National Parks Trolley schedule and routes as well as ranger-guided tours at the National Parks and other activities, please visit: www.cityofhomestead.com/gateway or call (305) 224-4457.