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Recreational Activities

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National Forests and Grasslands offer a diversity of outdoor opportunities. These lands are yours - to visit, to care for, but most of all, to enjoy.

What are you waiting for? Pack up your family and friends and head for adventure in America's Great Outdoor




Interim Final Directives National Trail Classification System Available for 60 day Public Comment


On October 16, 2008, Forest Service published in the Federal Register interim final directives for the national trails classification system. These interim final directives amend the Forest Service Manual 2350, Trail, River, and Similar Recreation Opportunities, and Forest Service Handbook 2309.18, the Trail Management Handbook, to incorporate revisions to the agency’s national trail classification system, consisting of the Trail Classes and Design Parameters. The interim final directives will be available for public comment for 60 days.

Comments must be received by December 15, 2008. Please send comments to Jonathan Stephens, National Program Manager for Trails and Congressionally Designated Areas, US Forest Service, Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources Staff, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Mail Stop 1125, Washington, DC 20250; or by facsimile to (202) 205-1145. Comments also may be submitted by following the instructions at the Federal rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

Federal Register Notice (11MB) - click here.

Changes to the Trail Class Matrix & Design Parameters -  click here.

Excerpted Sections from FSM 2350 - click here. 

2309.18 Zero Code Definition - click here. 

2309.18 Chapter 10 Trail Planning - click here. 

2309.18 Chapter 20 Trail Development - click here. 


2007 Recreation Forums Summary Proceedings

In March and April of 2007, the American Recreation Coalition and the National Forest Foundation teamed up to convene a series of six Recreation Forums across the nation - five regional sessions followed by a national gathering in Washington,  DC.  Over 1200 people from across the nation with diverse backgrounds participated in the dialog sessions.  To view the 24 page forum summary click here. 


Recreation Facilities Review

The review team report on public participation in the Forest Service's recreation facilities planning process is available on line for viewing.  This report examines growing public concern over the potential loss of recreation facilities and the importance people attach to their recreation places.  Recommendations for the continuing improvement of public participation and opportunities for comment on the agency's public involvement process are included.  To read the executive summary and complete report click here. 

The Action Plan (24 kb pdf) derived from the Review Team Report.



The USDA Forest Service manages one of the worlds largest road and trail systems in partnership with FHWA-Federal Lands, States and volunteer groups. In particular the forest road network provides the American public unprecedented access to a vast array of adventure recreation travel to natures many special places. They serve as "Lifelines" into and around the National Forest System and for surrounding gateway communities. Enjoy this short trailer on the full length DVD which is scheduled to be shipped to all National Forest units in winter 2006. We wish to thank our partners in FHWA Federal Lands for the generous support to produce this film.   More >>>


New Travel Management Rule

The Forest Service published a new regulation on November 9, 2005, governing off-highway vehicles and other motor vehicle use on national forests and grasslands. The new rule requires each national forest or ranger district to designate those roads, trails, and areas open to motor vehicle use.

“OHVs are fun and exciting ways to experience national forests, and we’ve seen dramatic increases in their popularity in the last decades,” said Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth.  “Land managers, working with states, counties, motorized sports enthusiasts, conservationists, local communities and others, will provide sustainable motorized recreation experiences in national forests and grasslands for the long run.”  more  »


National Forest Scenic Byways

National Forests and Grasslands offer a vast network of highways and roads that access the largest single adventure-travel and nature-based tourism estate in America. Visit America’s Byways to learn about touring America’s National Forest Scenic Byways this fall.
more  »



Section Features

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Places where the imprint of humans is substantially unnoticed.

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US Forest Service
Last modified October 17, 2008

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