FAQ Index

FAQS - Other Recreation Questions

Q. Where can I get hunting/fishing permits?

A. Hunting and fishing licenses are issued by state agencies. States (and tribal organizations) have different requirements and charge different fees for various licenses.
Detailed information on state procedures and fees for hunting and fishing licenses is available from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies at:

Q. Where can I find a calendar of events?

A. At this time there is no comprehensive list of recreation-related events for the thousands of recreation sites displayed on Recreation.gov.  For more detail about activities at a particular recreation site, please follow the links to the official websites for places listed on  Recreation.gov. In many cases, the local events are highlighted. If not, you may contact the managers at that recreation site directly.

Q. Where can I find recreation-related employment ?

A. There are several agencies that have links to recreation-related employment, as well as student employment, internships, and other paid and non-paid opportunities. Listed below are some of these links to get you started:

Q. Where can I find recreation-related maps?

 

A. Links to site-specific maps are provided on nearly all of the pages in Recreation.gov. 
In addition, these sites provide additional maps that may be of interest:

Q. Can you help me with my homework or recreation project?

A. Recreation.gov does not have the staff to provide homework assistance, but we can help by providing the following list of resources:

Q. Where Can I Find Professional and Academic Research on Recreation?

A. Listed below is a sample of the many possible sources of research data related to recreation. Contact the reference librarian at your local library for additional assistance in uncovering further resources.

Q. Where can I find recreation-related photos?

A. Photos of site-specific maps are provided on nearly all of the pages with information about a park, lake, forest, or other recreation facility. Follow the link to that site's home page, and (with a few exceptions...) you will discover additional photos. You may also find the following sites to be useful:

Q. Can I bring my pet with me on my visit to publicly managed lands?

A. The rules for pets at recreation sites vary widely, depending on the place you are visiting. Many recreation sites allow pets, but require they be kept under control at all times (i.e., on a leash or in a cage). Some places prohibit all pets.
To determine the exact requirements before bringing your pet to a recreation site, please use the phone numbers, addresses, and/or e-mail addresses and Web links (URL's) provided in Recreation.gov to contact the managers at that site directly.

Q. How would a community or individual go about getting a grant to improve a local park or natural resource area?

A. Many agencies in the Federal government offer grants to assist local communities in the creation or rehabilitation of local natural resources so that these areas can be turned into parks or refuges and enjoyed by the general public.

Listed below are web sites that list information on locating and applying for such grants.
Grants.gov
Forest Service Guide To Grants
US Fish and Wildlife Service Grants 
USGS Grant Information
National Park Service Grants Information

 

Q. Can I buy Federal land?

A. Most Federal agencies have stewardship responsibilities for public lands that they administer. Occasionally, a determination is made that some lands are no longer needed to meet the missions and needs of a project. For most of the Federal Government, the General Services Administration (GSA) takes care of land transfers. The land is first offered to other Federal agencies and states and then to the general public. The GSA also handles selling surplus federal buildings and equipment.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will occasionally sell land, but at a fair market price.
For more information, see these links:
GSA Land and Property Disposal
BLM Land Sales

 

Q. Can I use a metal detector, collect fossils, or go rockhounding on Federal lands?

A. Using metal detectors and collecting fossils or rocks (rockhounding) is prohibited in many recreation sites, especially National Parks and Civil War battlefields. Laws vary among sites managed by different federal, state, and local agencies as well.
To determine the exact requirements before using a metal detector or collecting fossils/rocks at a recreation site, please use the phone numbers, addresses, and/or e-mail addresses and Web links (URL's) provided in Recreation.gov to contact the managers at that site directly.

Q. Can I pick mushrooms on a recreation site?

A. Hunting and mushroom picking are strictly prohibited in National Parks. Mushroom picking may be allowed in the surrounding National Forests with a valid permit, unless the fire danger is extreme.
To determine the exact requirements before collecting mushrooms at a recreation site, please use the phone numbers, addresses, and/or e-mail addresses and Web links (URL's) provided in Recreation.gov to contact the managers at that site directly.

Q. Can I purchase a pass to pay the entrance fees for different recreation sites at Recreation.gov?

A. Yes, at this time, no universal pass has been developed that will provide access to all local, state, tribal, and Federal facilities. If your trip will include visits to sites managed by different levels of government or non-government organizations, you may need to purchase more than one pass or plan to pay entrance fees at some individual sites that do not accept the pass. Note that most passes are valid for entrance fees, but additional fees may be required for campgrounds, boat ramps, tours, etc. Detailed information on hunting and fishing licenses is available from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies at:

Q. Accessibility at Federal Recreation Sites

A. Accessible recreation sites or areas are those that comply with the federal outdoor recreation accessibility guidelines. As sites are constructed or altered they are brought into compliance with those requirements. For detailed information about the accessibility of individual recreation sites on Recreation.gov, please use the phone numbers, addresses, and/or e-mail addresses and Web links (URL's) provided on the site-specific pages to contact the managers at that location directly.

The Access Pass is a lifetime entrance pass to those national parks, national forests, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas and national wildlife refuges administered by the federal agencies. It is issued to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of any age that have documentation that they have been medically determined to have a permanent disability that substantially limits one or more of their major life activities. For more details, please see http://store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html.

Q. Can I use the "Comment" form on Recreation.gov to get more information on particular recreation sites?

A. If you have a question about one of the sites on our system, please contact the site directly.
The Recreation.gov team has developed this website as a "portal" to other sources of information. However, we do not have the detailed information about the more than 2,500 specific parks, lakes, etc. in the database.
Instead of using the Comment form, please use the phone numbers, addresses, and/or e-mail addresses and Web links (URL's) provided in Recreation.gov to contact the managers at the individual sites.

Q. Why didn't I find the site I was looking for in Recreation.gov when I searched by name? Where can I find information about a particular site not listed in Recreation.gov?

A. For sites included in the Recreation.gov database now, you may use the "Quick Search" box at the top right of each page. That search box will trigger a query for one or more of the over 3,800 recreation sites listed in the Recreation.gov database. Note that a recreation site may not appear if it has not been added to the database yet, or if it is listed under a different name, or if it is not affiliated with a Federal government agency.

Still not finding what you are looking for?

Recreation.gov is a rich source of information about Federal government-related recreation sites. There are thousands of Federal sites listed, but not every recreation-related place name is in the database. (For example, you can find the Rogue Wild and Scenic River, plus the Rogue River Ranch in Recreation.gov - but most rapids and campsites are not listed individually. To find information about Blossom Bar, you'll have to follow the link to the Rogue Wild and Scenic River website.)

If you are looking for information from the Recreation.gov partner agencies about topics other than recreation sites, please see the websites for the Federal partners:

Recreation.gov lists Federal government-related recreation sites. Private, non-government recreation facilities, plus hotels and restaurants, are included in a wide range of other online systems and publications. Private, non-government recreation facilities, plus hotels and restaurants, are not included in Recreation.gov but such sites are included in a wide range of other online systems and publications.

Q. Where can I go Geocaching on Federal lands?

A. What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a challenging outdoor game for global positioning system (GPS) users. Participating in a cache hunt is an activity designed to take advantage of the features and capability of a GPS unit and enjoy the freedom of access to the public lands. Individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a variety of rewards. The visitor is asked to leave or replace items that they find in the cache.

What Public Lands allow Geocaching activities?

The National Park Service absolutely DOES NOT allow Geocaching on park lands. The Bureau of Land Management may allow it, you should check with the local office of the area you plan to visit. The Forest Service does allow geocaching activities on some of their lands; it is best to call ahead to the public lands you plan to visit to see what the local policy may be towards hiding caches. Many state parks and state public lands also have their own policies regarding geocaching. You should be sure to check with your local park authority before planning any geocaching activity.

For more information on Geocaching and policy regarding this activity, please see:

Geocaching Toolbox

Q. Can I make campsite reservations at sites listed in Recreation.gov?

Yes, Recreation.gov does include numerous reservable inventory. Many of the other facilities listed within may have links and resources to help you obtain additional information or secure alternative reservations.

Q. Where can I find information on water levels for a boating or fishing trip?

A. Water levels and a schedule of water releases may be available for your area of interest. Water levels could be important to your recreational plans (and to ensure your personal safety) if you want to boat, canoe, or fish.

In addition to the list of websites (below), you can check the individual website for each reservoir and look for links like "Water Resources" "Water Control" or "Lake Levels." You can also call ahead to the place you plan to visit to get the latest information - phone numbers and e-mail addresses are provided in Recreation.gov for 2,800 recreation sites.

For more information, see:

Q. Where can I find information about recreation areas available to military personnel?

A. Recreation.gov lists public recreation areas, but the database does not include sites that are available only to military personnel. Instead, we have provided links to the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) sites. For more information or if you have questions about a specific military recreation site, please contact the managers at that specific site directly:

Q. Where can I find information specifically designed for seniors about recreation areas?

A. Firstgov for Seniors has a Travel & Leisure page that lists travel and tourism links by state, by federal agency, and by resource.

Q. Where can I find information specifically designed for students about recreation areas?

A. The Travel & Recreation section of Students.gov has links that assist students in finding information on Trip planning, Travel Alerts, Passports, Health issues while traveling, Services and information for American Citizens traveling abroad, and Work and study opportunities outside of the United States.

Q. Where can I find information about international travel?

A. For assistance in planning international travel, please see:

Q. Where would I find non-recreation related federal information ?

A. There are several other places to look for non-recreation related Federal information. Most Federal agencies have a "Facts and Questions" or FAQ page linked from their homepage. Listed below are several resources you may find useful in looking for different types of Federal information.

Q. How to Get a Link Added on Recreation.gov to Another Website?

A. The Recreation.gov website includes links to Federal websites about Federal recreation areas, plus links to relevant state agencies.
It does not include links to non-Federal campgrounds, RV facilities, stores, etc. Recreation.gov is not intended to be a comprehensive source of information about non-Federal facilities. Instead, we encourage use of the state and local tourism websites for customers planning trips.

Organizations and individuals who want a link added to their non-Federal websites should contact the state tourism agency and local convention and visitor bureau(s).

In addition to the FirstGov site for Frequently Asked Questions of the US Government, you may also find answers at the Recreation and FAQ sites for the following organizations: