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Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources

Renewing Body and Spirit,
Inspiring Passion for the Land

“Perhaps the rebuilding of the body and spirit is the greatest service derivable from our forests, for what worth are material things if we lose the character and quality of people that are the soul of America.” 

--Arthur Carhart, Forest Service Landscape Architect, 1919

The National Forests and Grasslands provide the greatest diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities in the world, connecting you with nature in an unmatched variety of settings and activities. You hike, bike, ride horses and drive off-highway vehicles. You picnic, camp, hunt, fish, and navigate waterways. You view wildlife and scenery, and explore historic places. You glide though powder at world class alpine resorts and challenge yourselves on primitive cross-country ski or snowmobile routes.

Outdoor recreation is fun -- and so much more. It provides physical challenge, requires development of life-long skills, provokes interest and inquiry, and inspires wonder and awe of the natural world. Recreation thereby contributes greatly to the physical, mental, and spiritual health of individuals, bonds family and friends, instills pride in heritage, and provides economic benefits to communities, regions, and the nation. Indeed, outdoor recreation has become an essential part of our American culture.

Participation in recreational activities is the way that most of us come to our National Forests and Grasslands, making it an important portal for understanding their meaning, history, and relevance, and that of public lands as a whole. Recreate on a National Forest or Grassland near you!

An image from inside the mouth of a large cave looking back at the opening, with trees, a rocky hillside, people, and a few vehicles in the background.


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National Forests and Grasslands



Outdoor Safety