Welcome to Alabama's Largest Natural Treasure!
The National Forests in Alabama comprised of four national forests are part of the USDA Forest Service 191 national forests, national grasslands, and land utilization projects totaling 191 million acres in 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Forest Service is an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We manage the national forests for multiple use, including recreation, timber, wildlife and fish, water and soil, wilderness and range. Our forests are "working" forests. The main focus of the Forest Service is the protection and conservation of natural resources on public lands.
Your National Forests in Alabama encompass approximately 667,000 acres of public land stretching across 17 counties. These national forests dating back to the early 1900's are administered by a forest supervisor and six district rangers. The forests are managed for multiple use and are home to about 900 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. The four national forests offer a diverse landscape and a variety of recreational experiences throughout the year.
Find your place in one of the four forests!
It may be in developed recreation areas for picnicking, camping, swimming, fishing, boating, or a quiet spot away from everything to enjoy bird watching, hiking, horse-back riding and sightseeing. If hunting is your passion, there are five wildlife management areas located in the National Forests in Alabama and are cooperatively managed by the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Game animals include white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, gray and fox squirrel, turkey, rabbit, raccoon, and various waterfowl. The four forests are home to a number of threatened, endangered and sensitive species, such as, the gopher tortoise, flattened musk turtle and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
If you enjoy scenery, you may be surprised to learn that this Deep South state actually has peaks over 2,000 feet tall. Many of them are within the National Forests in Alabama. Elevations vary significantly in Alabama's four national forests ranging from more than 2100 feet in the Piedmont area, dropping to 100 feet in the Coastal Plain. There are roads for quiet drives with far-reaching scenic views and special walk-in areas designed for wildlife viewing. High overlooks, rolling hills, and tree-studded flat land are among the contrasting terrains in the forests.
Want to enjoy a closer look at nature? Hiking may be more appealing and enjoyable on an extensive network of trails, with some of the pathways crisscrossing two designated wilderness areas. The Pinhoti Trails System in Talladega National Forests, Conecuh Trail in Conecuh National Forest, and the Bartram Trail in Tuskegee National Forest provide more than 150 miles of developed trails.
Equestrian trails are available to horse riders in the Bankhead, Talladega and Tuskegee National Forests. ATV trails are located in the Talladega and Bankhead National Forests.
Boaters and water skiers can enjoy large, clean lakes, which have enough quiet coves to satisfy anglers as well. Additionally, the Sipsey Wild and Scenic River in the Bankhead National Forest offers seasonal canoeing.
There are three wilderness areas within the National Forests in Alabama. The 25,002-acre Sipsey Wilderness in the Bankhead National Forest, is the second largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi. The 7,245-acre Cheaha Wilderness in the Talladega National Forest offers high elevations, with numerous overlooks for panoramic views of east-central Alabama. Dugger Mountain became the third wilderness area encompassing approximately 9,200 acres. Dugger Mountain is the second highest peak in Alabama with an elevation of 2,140 feet and is located in the Talladega National Forest.
The addition of Dugger Mountain Wilderness brings the total wilderness acres to more than 41,000, which is about seven percent of the total land base in the National Forests in Alabama.
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USDA Forest Service
National Forests in Alabama
2946 Chestnut Street
Montgomery, AL 36107