There are more than 10,000 state parks in the U.S. Every state has its own state park system and most charge entrance fees. Many sell annual passes for all state parks in their state. Some sell passes for individual parks or for regions within their state, such as the Lake Tahoe region in California. Some states don’t charge entrance fees for their parks, so they don’t sell entrance passes.
State parks passes can only be used at a specific state’s parks. They can’t be used at national parks located within that state, and they can’t be used at another state’s parks.
The United States is filled with nationally- and state-designated recreational areas. These places have special natural, cultural, or historic significance. They offer a variety of activities, and many are free.
Find information and services at Recreation.gov for trip planning, reservations, and more. Learn about parks, forests, monuments, and other public lands across the U.S. and its territories. You can also explore these other options:
Parks and Forests
National Parks - There are more than 400 national parks protecting treasured landscapes and historic areas. Find a national park in your state or one you're planning to visit.
State Parks - Each state has its own system of parks with camping, activities, and historic places.
National Forests - Discover national forests and grasslands, home to 150,000 miles of trails, 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 439 wilderness areas, and 122 wild and scenic rivers.
Protected Land Areas, Fishing Sanctuaries, and Wildlife Refuges
Marine Sanctuaries - Enjoy the beauty and variety of marine life, and the cultural significance of shipwrecks, at 14 marine protected areas in the oceans and Great Lakes. Most permit recreational fishing, diving, surfing, swimming, and kayaking.
National Wildlife Refuges - You can hunt, fish, and observe nature at these protected habitats. They’re home to more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 1,000 species of fish. Find a wildlife refuge near you.
America's Byways - Ready for a road trip? Find maps and information about 150 distinct and diverse roads across America. Each has special archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, or scenic qualities.
State Tourism Offices - State tourism offices can help you with all aspects of your visit. They have information about festivals and events, museums and landmarks, restaurants, lodging, and more.
Where to Go for Camping, Fishing, Boating, and Other Outdoor Activities
Parks, forests, and other public lands across the U.S. offer a wide range of outdoor activities. The federal government manages some sites, while state governments manage others.
National Recreational Areas
Explore things to do in national recreational areas at Recreation.gov. You can search by entering the name of a national park, forest, landmark, or activity.
You can find many national and state fishing locations, including lakes, rivers, and waterways. Explore national recreational areas to fish. Learn about many types of fishing, safety tips, and more. For information on saltwater fishing, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Resources for Fishermen or the National Saltwater Angler Registry. Each state grants permits (fishing licenses) and determines periods of time (seasons) when you can fish. For fishing laws and regulations in your state, contact your state fish and wildlife office. There may be rules on the type of bait and fishing equipment you can use. There may also be limits on the number, size, and type of fish you can keep.