PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Saturday, Sept. 24 is National Public Lands Day, and the U.S. Forest Service is celebrating by offering everyone free access to its lands throughout the United States. 

Visitors won’t need to pay any day-use fees at all Forest Service-managed sites Saturday. Some locations will also host special celebrations for National Public Lands Day and offer educational activities. 

National Public Lands Day recognizes the value of America’s public lands. It is the nation’s largest single day of volunteer activities and in 2021, more than 46,000 volunteers participated in more than 500 events. 

Volunteers are needed again in 2022. In the Portland area, they’ll help the Forest Service and Estuary Partnership and Confluence improve native habitat at Sandy River Delta while learning more about the site’s history with Forest Service field rangers in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Anyone interested can register online

Dog owners can join Trailkeepers of Oregon and forest service field rangers at 10 a.m. for an “Ambassadog” hike where they’ll practice leave-no-trace etiquette. 

There are other volunteer opportunities throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the Grande Ronde Model Watershed will host a National Public Lands Day event at Bird Track Springs Restoration Site, along the Grande Ronde River. 

Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland recreation staff will host a trail work party for work on the Skull Hollow Trailhead and Cole Loop Trail reroute. 

Another trail party will conduct crosscut sawyer log out work, tread repair, drainage improvement and brushing on the Olympic National Forest Church Creek Trail. Registration is closed for this event. 

The one-day fee waiver to access public lands does not apply to permits, campgrounds and cabins, or some expanded-amenity and concessionaire. Visit the U.S. Forest Service’s website for more information on the places you can visit for free Saturday.