Fee-free recreation days set for 2013

The U.S. Forest Service announced it will join other agencies in participating in fee-free days for 2013.

The free access to public lands will begin Jan. 21 in conjunction with Martin luther King, Jr. Day. It will be the first of four fee-free events offered throughout the year by the Forest Service, the agency announced in a news release.

The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 developed recreation sites nationwide. Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance. On fee-free days, everywhere operated by the Forest Service will be available at no cost, the release stated.

“Fee-free days are an ideal time to recapture your youth by taking your family to the outdoors,” said Robin Morgan, deputy director of the agency’s Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources, in the release. “More importantly, it’s an ideal time to introduce the young people in your life to an exceptional experience they’ll remember forever.”

Forest Service lands offer recreation opportunities ranging from casual hikes to the more thrilling outdoors activities. They also have activities for children such as Discover the Forest and become a Junior Snow Ranger.

Forest Service fee-free days for 2013 are Jan. 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; June 8, National Get Outdoors Day; Sept. 28, National Public Lands Day; and Nov. 9-11, Veterans Day weekend.

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