William B. Bankhead National Forest
|William B. Bankhead National Forest|
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
|Location||Lawrence / Winston / Franklin counties, Alabama, USA|
|Nearest city||Decatur, AL|
|Area||181,230 acres (733 km2)|
|Established||June 17, 1942|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
The William B. Bankhead National Forest is one of Alabama's four National Forests, covering 181,230 acres (733 km2). It is home to Alabama's only National Wild and Scenic River, the Sipsey Fork. It is located in northwestern Alabama, around the town of Double Springs. It is named in honor of William B. Bankhead, a longtime U.S. Representative from Alabama.
Known as the "land of a thousand waterfalls", this National Forest is popular for hiking, horseback riding, hunting, boating, fishing, swimming, canoeing and more. Within the forest lies the Sipsey Wilderness, with a host of wildlife and an abundance of swift streams, limestone bluffs, and waterfalls. Native American relics abound in Bankhead, one of the Southern United States's premier sites for petroglyphs, prehistoric drawings, and rock carvings, at sites such as the Kinlock Shelter.
The forest is headquartered in Montgomery, as are all four of Alabama's National Forests. The other National Forests in the state are Conecuh, Talladega, and Tuskegee. There are local ranger district offices located in Double Springs.
The forest was established as Alabama National Forest on January 15, 1918 with 66,008 acres (267.12 km2). On June 19, 1936 it was renamed Black Warrior National Forest, which in turn was renamed William B. Bankhead National Forest on June 17, 1942.
- Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County - United States Forest Service - September 30, 2007
- "National Forests in Alabama". USDA Forest Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- Davis, Richard C. (September 29, 2005). "National Forests of the United States" (PDF). The Forest History Society.
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