Public land is the perfect place to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Whether you’re heading out to celebrate National Public Lands Day or National Hunting and Fishing Day, there’s no reason to stay indoors on September 28. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking for volunteers to help improve public lands the last weekend of September, and also is offering free entry to some public lands for the day. U.S Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said:

volunteer Photo by Maryland Department of Natural Resources

“Today’s announcement is part of the USDA for all Seasons campaign, which seeks to educate the public on all the ways the department’s agencies programs help communities and their economies every day. America’s national forests and grasslands belong to all of us. These beautiful places have so much to offer, and we hope you’ll get outside and volunteer on National Public Lands Day to enjoy these places for yourself, while improving them for future visitors.”

The Forest Service offers six fee-free days in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Get Outdoors Day, National Public Lands Day and Veterans Day Weekend. Fees are waived generally for day use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Fees are not waived for concessionaire-operated facilities or for overnight use, such as camping or recreation rentals.

Contact your local national forest to learn if your destination requires a fee and if that fee is waived.

Photos: U.S. Forest Service (top); Maryland Department of Natural Resources (above)

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Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.