Getting out into the great outdoors can be rejuvenating and offer great opportunities for exercise. While time spent in the backyard or at your local park can satisfy the need for fresh air and open space, there’s something special about spending time in more vast natural spaces — like national parks. On September 26th, you can celebrate National Public Lands Day by enjoying free admission to any national park across the country. Sounds like a great day for a hike!

National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day is an annual event that takes place on the 4th Saturday in September. It began in 1994 and is the largest single-day volunteer event in the country. While the event encourages people to get out into the great outdoors and enjoy the national parks, the main focus is on maintaining national parks and public spaces so that they last for years to come with volunteers from the National Park Service, other federal agencies, and the general public contributing to the event.

Maintaining Outdoor Space for Future Generations

A big part of National Public Lands Day is recognizing the importance of public open spaces. National and public parks provide spaces for anyone to enjoy the great outdoors and all the exercise, sightseeing, and cultural opportunities those public spaces provide. Without preservation, protection, and events like National Public Lands Day, we wouldn’t have protected public parks to enjoy and the many outdoor exercise opportunities they offer. 

Fitness, Nature, and Health

Spending time in nature and regular physical activity both have proven benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing, and public lands provide an ideal opportunity for people to combine both activities and exercise in nature. To celebrate National Public Lands Day, take your fitness routine outside by visiting a national park! With free admission at all national parks in your area on September 26th, you can see some of the most beautiful natural landmarks and locations in the country while getting your workout in. 

While you won’t find a gym hiding behind the gates of a national park, there are a number of ways to exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. 

  • Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities at most national parks, with designated trails leading to spectacular views and landmarks. Hiking is an activity that can be enjoyed by people across fitness levels, with higher intensity hikes including more elevation changes and greater lengths. Most national parks offer trails of varying lengths and intensities. 
  • Mountain biking is another popular trail activity, but be sure to check your local national park’s website to see which trails allow mountain bikers. 

If you’d like to volunteer your time to celebrate National Public Lands Day, checkout volunteer opportunities at National Parks nearby, contribute to local parks by picking up litter, or donate to protected open spaces in your area. 

However you decide to spend your Saturday outside, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and protect your skin from the sun. For more fitness tips and inspiration, check out our other blogs!


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