National Forests in Alabama

National Forests in Alabama

National forests are lands overseen by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), an agency of the Department of Agriculture. The National Forests in Alabama are comprised of four national forests and are part of the USDA Forest Service 191 national forests, national grasslands, and land utilization projects.

The four 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.

Bankhead National Forest

Originally set aside as an Alabama Purchase Unit in 1918 and named the Alabama National Forest, the Bankhead was renamed in 1942 in honor of William B. Bankhead, a U.S. congressman from 1917 to 1940 and a member of Walker County‘s powerful Bankhead family. Its 198,385 acres are located in the northwestern part of the state in parts of Lawrence, Winston, and Franklin Counties. The forest lies in the Cumberland Plateau physiographic section, and the topography consists of high bluffs and sloping ridges that lead to steep gorges, waterfalls, and stream bottoms. Bankhead also contains stands of large old-growth hardwoods including oak, maple, beech, and black gum. The Bee Branch area is home to a 150-foot tulip poplar that is approximately 500 years old. Mixed hardwood stands, piney woods, and abundant streams and rivers provide excellent habitat for native animals and plants.


Bankhead Ranger District
Andy Scott, District Ranger
1070 Highway 33
Double Springs, AL 35553

Conecuh National Forest

Conecuh Ranger District
Tim Mersmann, District Ranger
24481 Alabama Hwy 55
Andalusia, AL 36420

Talladega National Forest

Purchased in 1936, the reserve’s 375,00 acres are divided among three ranger districts:  Shoal Creek, Oakmulgee, and Talladega.

Shoal Creek Ranger District
Shoal Creek Ranger District Map
Scott Smith, Acting District Ranger
45 Highway 281
Heflin, AL 36264

Oakmulgee Ranger District
Mark Pentecost, District Ranger
9901 Highway 5
Brent, AL 35034

Talladega Ranger District
Cameron Seales, Acting District Ranger
1001 North Street
(Highway 21 North)
Talladega, AL 35160

Tuskegee National Forest

Tuskegee Ranger District
Darrius Truss, District Ranger
125 National Forest
Road 949
Tuskegee, AL 36083

Three Wilderness Areas Within the National Forests

There are three wilderness areas within the National Forests in Alabama. 

Sipsey Wilderness

The 25,002-acre Sipsey Wilderness in the Bankhead National Forest, is the second largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi. 

Cheaha Wilderness

The 7,245-acre Cheaha Wilderness in the Talladega National Forest offers high elevations, with numerous overlooks for panoramic views of east-central Alabama. 

Duggar Mountain

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.

Five Wildlife Management Areas Within the National Forests

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.

Free National Forests Downloadable Maps

The following maps are downloadable free of charge.

National Forests Contact Information

USDA Forest Service
National Forests in Alabama
2946 Chestnut Street
Montgomery, AL 36107
Phone: 334-832-4470
FAX: 334-241-8111
Videophone: 334-239-3741