Conecuh National Forest
The Conecuh National Forest is the southern-most national forest in Alabama, encompassing 84,000 acres between Andalusia, Alabama, and the Florida line. This public-land jewel supports prime examples of habitats and associated species found in natural ecosystems of the lower coastal plain. Prime among these habitats are upland longleaf pine forest and shallow ponds and bogs that are maintained by regular ground fires. This rich ecological backdrop provides setting for a wide variety of recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, backpacking, picnicking, bicycling, shooting sports, wildlife viewing, and nature study. Below is an overview of the activities offered at Conecuh National Forest. You will find additional information in the Recreation Activities section.
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Hunting of deer, turkey, quail , and other small game is one of the most popular recreational activities on the Conecuh. The Conecuh National Forest is open to the public for hunting under Alabama state hunting regulations. Blue Spring Wildlife Management Area, located on the Conecuh National Forest, is also open for public hunting under special rules. For detailed information on hunting on the Conecuh National Forest and Blue Spring Wildlife Management Area, please visit the official website of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Scenic views, well-maintained facilities, and a diversity of recreational opportunities await you at Open Pond Recreation area. The campground at Open Pond includes primitive sites as well as those with water and electric hook-ups, with easy access to boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycle riding. Open Pond Recreation Area also includes a day-use area designed for peaceful picnicking with a panoramic view of Open Pond. A group shelter here was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). It retains its original distinct design and is interesting to those who enjoy CCC history.
The Conecuh Trail winds 20 miles through the eastern portion of the Conecuh National Forest. The trail was built by the Youth Conservation Corps. Each year beginning in 1976, the young people of the Corps extended the trail through park-like longleaf pine forests, around sinkhole ponds, and across streams and bottomlands. The trail showcases the diversity of Conecuh ecosystems for the day hiker and backpacker.
The south loop of the Conecuh Trail leads to Blue Springs, a large natural spring of clear, icy blue water. The Conecuh Trail crosses streams at several points. Bridges have been built for the convenience of trail hikers.
The Conecuh Trail is open year round, but winter hiking is most pleasant when the weather is cooler and insects not so bothersome. Summers can be hot and humid. From mid-November through the end of January, hikers and backpackers should coordinate trips with the District Office to ensure compatibility with scheduled deer hunts on Blue Spring Wildlife Management Area.
The National Reservation Commission established the Conecuh Purchase Unit in Escambia and Covington Counties on January 21, 1935.
On July 17, 1936, the Conecuh National Forest was created by presidential proclamation. The Conecuh National Forest initially contained 54,177 acres of cut-over and burned-over lands. Today it includes over 84,000 acres of restored coastal plain forests and wetlands.