MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites the public to get outdoors Sept. 25 in recognition of National Public Lands Day.

Established in 1994, National Public Lands Day celebrates the connection between people and the environment while encouraging the use of public spaces for education, recreation and volunteering.

Wisconsin is home to more than six million acres of public lands that offer endless recreation opportunities. Residents and visitors alike enjoy Wisconsin’s State Natural Areas, 49 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails and thousands of miles of fresh water.

Wisconsin’s outdoors are for everyone. From adaptive equipment like kayaks and beach wheelchairs, to accessible fishing piers, hiking trails and campsites, the DNR is committed to providing outdoor recreation that allows everyone of all abilities to experience the state’s natural resources.

In addition to outdoor recreation activities, the DNR offers education and volunteer opportunities to learn more and participate in hands-on conservation of Wisconsin public lands for present and future generations.

Here are just a few ways to celebrate National Public Lands Day:

  • Explore Wisconsin’s state park properties using the DNR’s improved Find A Park online tool that provides state park, forest and trail location information in one place. Visit the Find A Park webpage to search accessible features and services, activities, campsite type, amenities and rental offerings at a state park, forest or trail.
  • Travel to a State Park System hidden gem property from all corners of the state: Governor Thompson State Park, Hartman Creek State Park, Pattison State Park, Point Beach State Forest and Wyalusing State Park.
  • Go on a fishing adventure at one of the many fishing areas in the state including Bird Creek, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Plum Creek and White River Fisheries Area.
  • Visit a State Natural Area in celebration of the 70th anniversary of these native landscapes, the nation’s oldest statewide system of natural areas.
  • Volunteer at a State Natural Area, State Wildlife Area or State Park to help protect and conserve Wisconsin’s natural resources. Find opportunities near you by visiting the DNR’s volunteer webpage.
  • Learn about local wildlife, habitats, history and conservation at any Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation or wildlife area. Visit the DNR’s education and learning webpage for more details.
  • Unable to make it out on National Public Lands Day? Protect rare wildlife and State Natural Areas by ordering an Endangered Resources license plate.

When visiting Wisconsin public lands, always read the signs at parking lots, trailheads and boat access sites. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws and ordinances that might affect use of public lands. Hunters and anglers must adhere to hunting and fishing regulations.

For more information on Wisconsin public lands and for ways to connect with nature, visit

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