Forest Service Grants Veterans and Gold Star Families Free Access to National Forests and Grasslands

Without the brave men and women who served our country and without the support of their families, our nation would not be what it is today. To show gratitude for their selfless service, the USDA Forest Service announced it will offer U.S. military veterans and Gold Star families fee-free access to their national forests and grasslands.

The free benefit took effect earlier this week on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2020, and will continue indefinitely, providing veterans and Gold Star Families with unfettered access to the public lands. 

While most national forest and grasslands are already free to access, the Forest Service will now offer a fee waiver granting veterans and Gold Star families free access to all Forest Service operated day-use standard amenity recreation fee sites such as trailheads, picnic sites, visitor centers, and most other day-use recreation sites.  The free access program is conducted through partnership with federal agencies that manage the America The Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program.

To access the benefit, veterans can present any of several government issued documents verifying veteran status. Gold Star families can download and print a voucher to show a ranger or place on the vehicle dashboard at unstaffed sites.

For more information on the free access program, for U.S. military veterans and Gold Star families please visit the Forest Service website.

For more information on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest visit




USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.