Recreating on National Forests and Grasslands
Find Your Opportunity
National forests and grasslands provide people from all backgrounds and abilities with opportunities for world-class recreation adventures, from serene trout fishing to scaling the tallest peaks to commanding the most challenging alpine ski run. There’s much more to explore on national forests and grasslands that you know. Our online visitor map can help get you started or remind you of what you are missing.
We Can Help You Prepare
Recreating outdoors carries a lot of responsibility, most importantly the safety of yourself and of those around you. When properly prepared, recreationists can experience the best nature has to offer. Our Know Before You Go lists offer a variety of tips and tricks to help you enjoy your adventures.
Recreation Passes, Permits
Recreating on national forests and grasslands is a bargain with more than 95 percent of our lands fee-free. The suite of annual and lifetime America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes are available may be used on federal recreational lands. The proceeds are used to enhance visitor recreation services. Some national forests and grasslands have special fees not covered by the passes, such as parking. See Passes and Permits.
Our accessibility program aims to welcome people of all abilities. Our goal is to maximize the accessibility of outdoor recreation areas while protecting the unique characteristics of the natural settings. Our guidelines include standards for campgrounds, picnic areas, viewing overlooks, swimming beaches and the pathways that connect the facilities within those recreation areas.
We mange more than 160,000 miles of trails, and many of those miles are designated national scenic, historic and recreation trails, such as the 1,170-mile Nez Perce National Historic Trail. The National Trails Systems Act of 1968 established this special system of trails that are managed by multiple agencies and that can be enjoyed on short day hikes or longer efforts that can take weeks or months.
Wild, Scenic Rivers
We protect more than 13,400 miles of wild and scenic rivers and streams, waters given a special designation by the Wild and Scenic River Act. Wild and scenic rivers are for your pleasure, enjoyment, and stewardship. These rivers are important for countless reasons, but many visitors are interested in the world class recreational adventure.
The vast network 803 wilderness areas covering 111.7 million acres of the nation’s vast wilderness system is larger than the state of California. Wilderness is defined as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” One can truly experience the outdoors in its rarest form, far from what every day life has to offer.