Sporting in Parks

With more than 400 national parks and National Park Service programs and partnerships working with communities across the country, there are endless opportunities to recreate in parks and in locations closer to home. Get outside with fun ways to enjoy the outdoors , from urban areas to wilderness parks and short excursions to multi-day adventures. Remember to recreate responsibly to keep yourself and everyone around you safe while also protecting America's treasured places for future generations to enjoy.

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Getting Started

Family bicycling with safety equipment

Choose Your Activity

Check out a range of traditional outdoor recreational activities to enjoy at national parks and in your neighborhood.

Visitor reading brochure in the desert

Find a Park

There are more than 400 national parks across the country. Find a park where you can enjoy your chosen activity.

Campers with a tent and gear set up in a valley

Make Your Plan

No matter the activity or location, be prepared with plans and safety tips to make your trip a fun, safe adventure.

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    #RecreateResponsibly Campaign

    As more people return to national parks, join the movement to encourage health and safety practices to help keep America's treasures and their visitors safe. We encourage you to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and follow Leave No Trace principles when you visit. Whether seeking wide-open spaces or exploring a historic urban neighborhood, remember to #RecreateResponsibly!


    Recreate Responsibly

    Find more information about the #RecreateResponsibly movement and resources about health and safety in parks.

    Poster of a mountain and trees with text reading "Stay Safe" with some additional tips


    Help spread health and safety tips for visiting parks with these graphics that can be shared on social media.

    Gateway Activities

    Many of us enjoy sports but don’t consider national parks as places where we can take part in our favorite outdoor activities. "Gateway" activities are popular forms of recreation people enjoy closer to home that can also introduce them to national parks. Take a look at the activities below for some ideas. Who knows—maybe you’ll get hooked!

    Bicyclist towing a child carrier


    If you like to road bike, mountain bike, or e-bike for fitness or a casual ride, find options for you.

    Adult and child holding camping equipment outside of a tent


    Camping, and maybe even "glamping," are fun ways to introduce family and friends to the great outdoors.

    Child tying a fishing line to a rod


    Cast your line and get hooked on the many types of fishing options in both urban and wilderness parks.

    Ranger in a face mask giving directions to a visitor by a trailhead


    From casual walks to adventurous wilderness treks, hiking is a popular sport at most national parks in rural and urban communities.

    Parks to Communities

    The National Park Service extends beyond the boundaries of national parks into communities across the country through our programs and partnerships that help preserve natural and cultural heritage. These programs and partnerships also work in and with communities to increase or improve recreational opportunities, including through outreach, technical assistance, planning, grants, events and activities.

    Visitor in a wheelchair on sand dunes


    Partners offer a wide range of services to increase recreation for everyone, such as outreach, funding, events, and providing equipment.

    Hikers behind a bunch of yellow flowers

    Healthy Parks Healthy People

    This international movement encourages the use of parks by everyone to improve health and wellness.

    Guide pointing kids to a city skyline across a body of water

    RCTA Program

    The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program helps community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects.

    Two hikers walking into a historic town

    National Trails System

    Thousands of miles of national trails are providing access to stunning natural scenery and connecting places of history.

    Kid on a kayak wearing a life jacket

    National Wild & Scenic Rivers System

    A system of rivers in rural and urban areas offers opportunities for more people to get out on the water.

    People walking along a canal where a boat is tied

    National Heritage Areas

    Community-led conservation and development in heritage areas creates new ways for people to get out to enjoy their neighborhoods.

    Featured News

    The National Park Service works with partners and communities to improve recreation in national parks and neighborhoods, including creating new options, providing grants, improving safety, and increasing access for all Americans to enjoy their public lands.

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      Last updated: July 6, 2020