Outdoor Recreational Activities

Find frequently requested government information on U.S. outdoor recreational activities including biking trails, boating, fishing and hunting.

Federal and State Recreational Activities

U.S. recreational areas offer an assortment of outdoor recreational activities. Recreation.gov lets you search for federal parks, forests and other public lands offering the activity you're interested in, including:

  • Biking Find breathtaking trails for your road or mountain bike.
  • Boating You can also find important boating safety tips.
  • Camping There are thousands of places to pitch a tent or park an RV, from the backcountry wilderness to a national seashore.
  • Climbing Find technical challenges for the beginner to expert climber, from guided climbs to ice climbing on your own.
  • Fishing Also see resources for saltwater fishing.
  • Hiking Thousands of trails, from steep technical climbs to flat lakeshore paths, await.
  • Horseback Riding Many areas offer trail and off-trail riding. Some even have stables and guides.
  • Hunting Also read about hunting licenses.
  • Winter Sports Enjoy cross-country and downhill skiing, snow-shoeing, dog-sledding, and more. 

Want to get outside, but need some inspiration? Check out this list of adventures at FindYourPark.com

Contact Recreational Areas

For detailed information on a particular recreational area:

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Boating rules in recreational areas vary widely. Licenses, fees, and seasonal restrictions vary from site to site. For detailed information on a particular recreational area:

Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB)

While not required for recreational boaters, having a registered digital signal (406 MHz) beacon provides search and rescue authorities with information when responding to a distress signal:

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Each state grants permits (fishing licenses) and determines closed periods (seasons) where specific species are unavailable for harvest, restrictions on gear types, and quotas. To learn the laws and regulations for recreational fishing in your state, contact your state fish and wildlife agency

Fishing in Recreational Areas

There are many recreational sites that allow fishing. For location information, contact a state fish and wildlife agency or a federal recreation area.

Saltwater Fishing

Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Resources for Fishermen. You can also find information on the National Saltwater Angler Registry.

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Big game, small game, and bird hunting are permitted on America's public lands depending on the site and season. Hunting fees, licensing, and seasonal restrictions vary from site to site. 

For information about a particular recreational area, contact the site directly:

Hunting on a Wildlife Refuge

There are more than 300 national wildlife refuges and protected wetlands in the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS). Use this search tool to find appropriate hunting locations near you. Visit the Refuge website or contact them directly.

Hunting Licenses

Everyone age 16 and older who wants to hunt must get a hunting license. Individuals under age 16 may need a junior hunting license. Check with your state fish and wildlife agency for requirements.

If you want to hunt waterfowl, you need a Federal Duck Stamp in addition to a state hunting license.

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Last Updated: December 11, 2017