The first of the fee-free days on federal lands in the United States in 2013 is Jan. 21 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service will all waive fees associated with entry into areas typically requiring a payment to enter.
"Our national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and other public lands offer every American a place to enjoy outdoor recreation, learn about our nation's history and culture, and restore our souls and spirits by connecting with the natural beauty and wildness of our land," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement. "By providing free admission, we are putting out an invitation to all Americans to visit and enjoy these extraordinary treasures that belong to all our people."
Other fee-free dates in 2013 are April 22-26 for National Park Week, June 8 for Great Outdoors Day, Aug. 25 for the National Park Service's birthday, Sept. 28 for National Public Lands Day, Oct. 13 for National Wildlife Refuge Week and Nov. 9-11 for Veterans Day weekend.
Not all agencies participate in each of the dates, and the fee waiver does not cover services within the park such as camping, transportation and tours.
"America's great outdoors should be experienced by everyone," said Salazar. "Our fantastic network of public lands provides world-class recreational opportunities, the chance to view abundant wildlife in natural habitats, sites that showcase our nation's rich and diverse history, and some of the most incredible scenery found anyway. The fee-free days will give both first-time and repeat visitors a good reason to spend time in these extraordinary places."
Fee-free federal lands days in 2013
April 22-26, National Park Week (National Park Service)
June 8, Great Outdoors Day (U.S. Forest Service)
Oct. 13, National Wildlife Refuge Week (Fish & Wildlife Service)