Many opt out of Black Friday for Fresh Air Friday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Black Friday? Or Fresh Air Friday?

For some families, it was an easy decision to make with Colorado Parks and Wildlife making all 42 state parks free Friday.

"Shopping? How can you go shopping when you have this? I mean, this is just natural beauty that you don't have to pay anything for," said Pam Pappas-Jones, who is part of Cheyenne Mountain Newcomers' hiking group.

To encourage people to get outdoors, Colorado Parks and Wildlife let people enjoy state parks for free, instead of charging the daily fee of $7 per car.

"It's really a pretty new concept and it just started within the last year or two I think. But I think it's gathering more and more steam," said Bob Falcone, who is also known as Hiking Bob.

"It's a lot less hectic, it's a lot less stressful and it's energizing versus draining," said Cherise Ruskiewicz, who brought her family out for a hike.

Several people brought their families out, opting out of long lines and crowds at the mall.

"Oh, this is so much more relaxing and enjoyable. Just to be out in this great weather and enjoy Colorado. So much more enjoyable than being in a crowd of people fighting over a toaster," said Andrew Hug, who brought his two kids out for a hike.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife director said it's a chance for families to start new traditions after Thanksgiving and even give avid shoppers a break.

Hikers said they want to take advantage of the good weather.

"Get out as much as you can. The winter's going to get here sooner or later, although I'm not sure when. I have a new pair of snowshoes. I'm not sure when I'm going to get a chance to use them," Falcone said.


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