Skip the crowds and mayhem at the local box store, and enjoy the beauty and fresh air of Colorado's great outdoors. This Black Friday is also "Fresh Air Friday." Colorado Parks & Wildlife encourages you to take time and explore the outdoors with free access to all 41 Colorado state parks on Friday, November 23, 2018.

Personally, I can't recall ever shopping a Black Friday sale. I'm not one for crowds. Why get scrunched by the mob at Wally World? There's another alternative - Colorado's magnificent outdoors. It's healthier, infinitely more relaxing, and on November 23, 2018, much cheaper.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife encourages you to share your outdoor adventures by using the hashtag #FreshAirFriday on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Where can you go? There are 41 Colorado State Parks to choose from. Might I suggest you start with Grand Junction's very own Connected Lakes? According to the Colorado State Parks brochure:

A string of pearls. That’s what the five sections of this park are like, strung along the Colorado River corridor. One of America’s greatest rivers is the attraction here, and each pearl offers separate access and has its own diversions and its own trails. Connected Lakes is a day-use area where visitors can picnic, fish, hike, watch wildlife, boat and access the river. Five miles of trails wind around its three lakes. Only hand-propelled or sail watercraft and boats with electric motors are permitted on the lakes. Visitors can raft, tube and canoe on the river or obtain trips, lessons and equipment rental from area outfitters.

Take that information, combine it with the word "Free," and you have a guaranteed winner. Do you have family coming in for Thanksgiving? Looking for something to do? Well, there you go. Colorado at its best, all at the low, low price of Free.

Connected Lakes is only one several state parks to choose from. No matter where you are in Colorado, there's an option close by. I certainly don't mean to take business away from area retailers. Just the opposite. Please take advantage of the shopping deals on Black Friday. At the same time, though, don't let the offer of a free pass to a Colorado state park pass you by.