3 Reasons Why National Forests Are Underrated

Little River Oconee National Forest 5

I spend soooo much time in my nearby Chattahoochee National Forest. National Forests are the most underrated public lands on Earth. They aren’t sexy like the National Parks, but wow, are they amazing.

National Forests Are Multiple-Use in a Glorious Win-Win-Win-Win-Win way

The US Congress originally created National Forests in the West to preserve critical lumber sources and in the East to protect critical urban water sources. But it turns out that protecting millions of acres of land has some serious other benefits too.

They are prime wildlife habitat for everything from endangered species to popular game animals. National Forests are world famous recreation areas – the only places in the world with literally hundreds of miles of trails and millions of acres open to hiking, skiing, exploring, etc.

National Forests Have Rules…but Are Also More Open Than National & State Parks

Check local Forest Service regulations…but, in general, you can hike, camp, explore, and just be anywhere in a National Forest. In my local National Forest, the Chattahoochee, you can camp literally anywhere that’s not right next to a road or creek.

There are even spots to just pull off the road and camp…for free. Now – Leave No Trace principles are assumed, but the Forest Service defaults to letting people explore public lands without prescribing behavior.

National Forests Are Free, Uncrowded, Open To All, and Probably Closer Than You Think

National Forests are bigger than your local park, or National Park for that matter. It’s free to visit. There’s always a quiet spot somewhere. And most are likely closer to where you live than you’d expect. And every Forest has something special about it to learn & explore.

Find your local National Forest and check it out!

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