Welcome to the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

Mountain Biker Stay Safe Recreate Responsibly

 

Updated Status of Recreation Areas

Developed recreation areas in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests were temporarily shutdown to help protect the health and safety of visitors and staff.  Some sites are reopening and will reopen on a case-by-case basis, sometimes with modified operations. The openings may not be quick or permanent. The most recent updates will be posted on the Status Update of Recreation Areas page. Please be patient during this transition as the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.  Dispersed camping remains an option for those who prefer a primitive camping experience. Be sure to follow the rules for dispersed camping and practice Leave No Trace principles.

Visitors are primarily responsible for their own safety. Keep in mind, trails and roads may be open for use, but please recreate responsibly and follow public health guidelines regarding social distancing while you recreate in National Forests. Law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 issues. High risk activities such as rock climbing or motorized activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided. For the most current and accurate information about COVID-19, contact your local health officials or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov. Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available at: www.usda.gov/coronavirus.

Forest Supervisor's Office & District Offices

Routine and public access to our facilities are temporarily suspended to help protect the public from the spread of COVID-19. Critical mission operations are being conducted online, by email, and by phone. Visitor Information is provided at kiosks located at the Forest Supervisor's Office and various district offices. America the Beautiful passes will be issued by appointment only. Please call the visitor information line at 479-280-8162 (Forest Supervisor's office) or the visitor information line listed under each district on the left. Email inquiries can be sent here.

Fishing and Hunting Remain Open

Hunting and fishing are permitted in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, except in areas closed by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, or otherwise posted areas. All state hunting and fishing regulations, fees, and seasons apply on national forest land. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission encourages your outdoor recreational pursuits, but they should be done in a manner consistent with social distancing guidelines and in compliance with any orders from federal, state, and local government. Learn more at Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.

Information about turkey hunting in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests is available here.


The Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are really two separate Forests with many differences. They are distinct in their own topographical, geological, biological, cultural and social differences, yet each makes up a part of the overall National Forest system.

The Ozark National Forest covers 1.2 million acres, mostly in the Ozark mountains of northern Arkansas. You'll find the tallest mountain in the State, Mount Magazine, and an incredible, living underground cave--Blanchard Springs Caverns.

The St. Francis National Forest covers 22,600 acres in eastern Arkansas, one of the smallest and most diverse forests in the country.

These forests are generously endowed with recreational opportunities for camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, hunting, boating, scenic drives, picnics sites, and opportunities for wildlife viewing also abound.

Explore our information on-line. Discover what wonderful scenery and recreational opportunities await your visit. more . . .

 

Features

Forest Plan Amendment and EA for Bat Conservation out for objection period

The Ozark-St. Francis National Forests’ Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) was revised in September 2005. The Forests are proposing a plan amendment to the Forest Plan to establish more targeted protective measures for threatened, endangered and sensitive (TE&S) bat species, including the Indiana bat, based on recent scientific data collection and monitoring. The Forest Plan Amendment and EA for bat conservation are out for 45-day objection period.


Status Update of Recreation Areas

In response to guidance from state health officials and experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recreation facilities were temporarily shut down or services reduced. Some of these recreation sites are reopening and will reopen on a case-by-case basis, sometimes with modified operations. The openings may not be quick or permanent. Please be patient during the transition as the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.


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Spotlights

OHV Riding in the Forest

Riding an OHV

There are more than 1,000 miles of designated routes for OHV use in the forest.  Check out the maps before you head out. 

Prescribed Fires on the forest

Firefighter using drip torch

The Ozark-St. Francis National Forests will be conducting prescribed burns over the next several months.

 




National Forests At A Glance

The National Forests At a Glance - Jobs & Income Story Map is a different way to explore your National Forests and Grasslands through the lens of Job and Income contributions...

Restoration Progress Made Despite Growing Challenges

Forest Service Report Highlights Restoration Progress Made Despite Growing Challenges



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https://www.fs.usda.gov/osfnf