US Forest Service Waves Fees In Honor Of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The U.S. Forest Service will waive fees at most of its day-use recreation sites on Jan. 20, 2014, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The fee waiver day is the first of four such days and one full weekend offered by the agency during 2014.

"Our public lands are open to everyone, and we hope these free days offer an incentive to all people to visit any of the 193 million acres of land held in trust for their enjoyment and use," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
The National Forests in Florida recreation sites listed below are the locations waiving day-use fees:

Ocala National Forest
Fore Lake Day Use
Farles Day Use
Lake Eaton Boat Ramp & Pier
Mill Dam Boat Ramp and Swim area
Lake Dorr Boat Ramp

Osceola National Forest
Olustee Beach Day Use Area

Apalachicola National Forest
Leon Sinks Geological Area

The health benefits visitors receive from visiting national forests and grasslands are found when exploring the more than 150,000 miles of trails, which includes hiking, biking, equestrian and motorized trails, and more than 10,000 developed recreation sites. Visitors also have a wide choice of recreational activities with 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 338,000 heritage sites, 9,100 miles of National Scenic Byways, 22 National Recreation Areas, 11 National Scenic Areas, seven National Monuments, one national preserve and one national heritage area.

Encouraging use of public lands supports the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative, which encourages all Americans to connect with the outdoors, and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Outside initiative that encourages children to get out and get active to be healthy.

Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands, and approximately two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands can be used for free. Many recreation opportunities such as camping, sightseeing and hiking can be enjoyed throughout the year at no cost. Fees are waived generally for day-use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers.

For more additional information contact the National Forests in Florida local Ranger District Offices:

  • Apalachicola National Forest: Apalachicola Ranger District, (850) 643-2282; Wakulla Ranger District, (850) 926-3561

  • Ocala National Forest: Lake George Ranger District, (352) 625-2520; Seminole Ranger District, (352) 669-3153

  • Osceola National Forest: Osceola Ranger District, (386) 752-2577

Information about National Forests in Florida is also available on the web at View a list of fee-free days for 2014 and the public land agencies that honor them at

Based in Tallahassee, the National Forests in Florida's Forest Supervisor's Office is the headquarters for the National Forests in Florida. These include the Apalachicola, Osceola and Ocala. National Forests, public lands that protect more than 1.2 million acres in North and Central Florida. The National Forests in Florida also manages the 1,400-mile Florida Trail, one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States. As part of the USDA Forest Service, the National Forests in Florida welcomes your responsible use of public lands. We encourage you to enjoy all that your National Forests have to offer.

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