The Matador guide to

National Public Lands Day

Explore, Preserve, and Protect.

Saturday, September 26, is National Public Lands Day. The annual holiday celebrates our country’s open areas, whether national forests, state parks, or public beaches. It’s about connecting people with the land and promoting a healthy relationship with the environment, and all national parks are free to visit on this day. As the country’s single biggest volunteer day, it’s also an opportunity for us to give back through beach clean-ups or tree planting events. No matter how you choose to commemorate this day, we hope you do so in a beautiful, natural space — one that is available to all.

Here, you’ll find dozens of articles about our favorite public lands, from majestic national parks to more underrated (and crowd-free) state parks, national forests, waterways, and beaches. Whether you’re looking to go hiking, camping, or paddling — or want to plan ahead for the winter — Matador has you covered.

Noelle Alejandra Salmi, Outdoor Editor

Protect Public Lands

The best of the National Parks

Visiting a national park? #DontFeedTheLandfills

It's a simple yet profound concept: Don't feed the landfills while visiting our national parks.

Beat the crowds

Go camping

Explore the West Coast

Explore the Mountain States

Explore the Southwest

Explore the Midwest

Explore the Northeast

Explore the Southeast

Venture to Alaska

Venture to Hawaii

Plan ahead