Rhinelander, Wis. — The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites on Monday, Jan. 17, in recognition of Martin Luther King Day, according to a Jan. 13 press release. 

For the winter recreation season on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, this fee waiver applies to some trailheads where visitors may normally pay a $5 day-use fee.

“The national forest offers many opportunities to get outside for adventure, exercise or simply fresh air,” said Forest Supervisor Paul Strong. “We hope this holiday waiver provides a bit of encouragement to get out and enjoy our national public lands.”

Across the country, the fee waiver applies to many national forest picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers. Fees for camping, cabin rentals, heritage expeditions or other permits still apply. Recreation sites operated by concessionaires will also continue to charge fees unless the individual manager chooses to participate in the holiday waiver.

Most days of the year, visitors to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest must pay a day-use fee of $5 per vehicle at most developed beaches, boat launches, picnic areas and trailheads. The forest provides envelopes for making on-site payments, or visitors may purchase an annual vehicle pass for $30 through ranger district offices and local pass sale vendors.

Fourth grade students can get a free pass through the Every Kid Outdoors program. Veterans, Gold Star Family members, and active military personnel and their dependents are also eligible for free access to national forests. More information about national passes is available online.

The Forest Service waives recreation fees at most day-use sites on lands managed by the agency annually in observance of special events or federal holidays. Participation by concession-operated sites may vary. The next upcoming 2022 fee free dates are:

Presidents Day: Feb. 21

National Get Outdoors Day: June 11

National Public Lands Day: Sept. 24

Veterans Day: Nov. 11

The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public lands and more than 3,000 world-class outdoor recreation areas, facilities and programs. Visitors may enjoy year-round, fee-free access to 98 percent of national forests and grasslands as well as two-thirds of developed recreation sites.

More information about the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is available on the forest’s website or social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

(Copyright © 2022 APG Media)

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