Forest Boundaries

When you come to visit this forest, you may pass a sign that says "Entering the Daniel Boone National Forest." Once beyond this sign, visitors assume that all the land they are passing through is national forest land. This is often not the case. The Daniel Boone National Forest consists of nearly 708,000 acres within a 2.1-million acre boundary. Ownership is highly fragmented, and visitors often travel in and out of national forest land while on a road, lake, river or trail.

Property Boundary: National Forest Land Behind this SignMaps commonly show proclaimed national forest boundaries. However, all land within these boundaries is not national forest land; some is privately owned. The user is cautioned to comply with state law and owner's rules when entering onto private land.

The boundaries between national forest land and private property are marked with signs and red paint. Recognition of these markings and the meaning of boundary signs will help the user be certain to stay on national forest land.

Entrance (portal) signs are placed along major roads entering the national forests, usually on the first tract of Forest Service land encountered.

Welcome signs are located on or just inside the boundaries of individual tracts of national forest land where the road enters. The sign will be oriented so that the land behind the sign is public land. Generally, they are not used on dead-end or woods roads or on small blocks of public land. Upon entering the woods on public land, these signs will not be present, and the user should then rely on the following method of boundary identification.

Property line marking and boundary signs show the methods used to mark the boundaries of individual national forest tracts adjacent to other ownerships. The small metal boundary sign may be fastened either to trees or to posts located on the boundary line and at road crossings, and the sign will be placed so that public land is behind the sign. Red paint spots on trees define the boundary line through the woods.

There are thousands of miles of boundary lines for the Daniel Boone National Forest. While the majority are identified and posted, occasionally one may encounter an area where signs have been vandalized or lines are not yet marked. In these cases, one should be alert to avoid accidently trespassing on private land.

Through the land adjustment program, land is acquired to consolidate ownership, allowing more effective management of vital natural resources.

This program benefits the public by:

  • Protecting the habitat of threatened and endangered species
  • Safeguarding vital watershed areas
  • Increasing recreation opportunities
  • Acquiring inholdings
  • Improving access to public lands
  • Preserving cultural resources
  • Conserving natural resources such as caves, clifflines, wetlands, and other unique geological features.

Bearing Tree with SignBearing Tree marked with red paint on trunk

Tree on National Forest Land marked with red paintTree on Private Land marked with red paint

Top left: Bearing Tree

Top right: Bearing Tree

Bottom left: National Forest land behind this tree

Bottom right: Private land behind this tree