You don’t have to break your budget to enjoy the great outdoors. Consider these four fee-free outdoor destinations. With public lands and parks, there’s bound to be a no-cost adventure near you!
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land is a magical place where you can usually camp and recreate for free and even shoot in some areas. There are some campsites on BLM that require a fee, but there is a ton of land where boondocking is allowed. BLM land is more concentrated in the West, but it spans across the country. This public land is ideal for dispersed camping, fishing, hunting and plinking in select areas. It is your responsibility to know the locations, rules and regulations before recreating. Of course, hunting and fishing licenses are still required, and any firearm permits depending on the state.
Another great option for free camping, hunting and fishing is National Forests. Recreational shooting is also allowed in national forests or grasslands unless otherwise restricted. Just be sure to keep in mind that the following are prohibited:
- In or within 150 yards from a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation area or occupied area.
- Across or on a national forest or grassland road or body of water.
- In any manner or place where any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.
- Into or within a cave.
- Firing tracer bullets or incendiary ammunition.
- Disturbing, injuring, destroying, or in any way damaging any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resource, structure, site, artifact, property.
- Abandoning any personal property or failing to dispose of all garbage, including targets, paper, cans, bottles, appliances.
National Parks (Sometimes)
While there is no hunting, fishing or plinking allowed in National Parks, there is no shortage of adventures to be had. There are three remaining fee-free days this year when you can access America the Beautiful at no cost.
- August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- September 24: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
There are also 15 National Parks that don’t require an entry fee ever. However, camping might cost you. Before visiting, read our tips on taking a trip to a National Park.
- Gates of the Arctic National Park (Alaska)
- Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)
- Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)
- Lake Clark National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (Alaska)
- Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)
- Channel Islands National Park (California)
- Redwood National Park (California)
- Biscayne National Park (Florida)
- Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)
- Great Basin National Park (Nevada)
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)
- Congaree National Park (South Carolina)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee, North Carolina)
- North Cascades National Park (Washington)
- New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)
While you might be imagining a sad patch of grass with a cracking tennis court nearby, there are epic city parks across the country that you can explore without paying an entry fee. Fairmount Park in Pennsylvania, Falls Park in South Dakota and City Park in Louisiana are just a few of the best city parks in the country.