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Tuskegee National Forest - Alabama

Tuskegee National Forest lies in the east central part of Alabama west of Auburn, in Macon County. Tuskegee National Forest topography is level to moderately sloping, broad ridges with stream terraces and broad floodplains.

Activities offered at Tuskegee National Forest.

Picnicing - Taska Recreation Area

This is a must stop recreation area in the Tuskegee National Forest. Taska Recreation Area offers picnicking, sanitary facilities and a log cabin replica if Booker T. Washington's birthplace. Taska Recreation Area is open year round and offers facilities for the physically challenged.

Campgrounds

Primitive camping is allowed anywhere in the Forest except during gun deer hunting season when camping is permitted at designated sites only.

Hunter camps are located at 10 sites in the Tuskegee National Forest, the hunter camps are open year round and offer primitive camping.

Hiking

The scenic Bartram Trail is the first trail in Alabama to be designated a National Recreation Trail. The trail runs through the Tuskegee National Forest for about eight and one half (8 1/2) miles. The Bartram Trail passes through various types of forest wildlife habitat. Trail hikers can see a wide variety of wild flowers and flowering trees, including dogwood and magnolias. Bartram Trail hikers may also get fleeting glimpses of deer, turkey, or other wildlife as they scurry through the forest.

Horseback Riding

The Bold Destiny/Bedford Cash Memorial Trail in Tuskegee National Forest offers 14 miles of riding pleasure in the northern half of the forest. The trail winds through the rolling upland sand hills and traverses managed forest land where riders and hikers see planted pines ranging from 1 to 50 years old. At some stream crossings, hardwoods ranging from 80 to 90 years old can be seen.

History

The Tuskegee Land Utilization Project which was also known as the Tuskegee Planned Land Use Demonstration, was located about two and one-half miles northeast of Tuskegee in Macon County. The original project area consisted of approximately 10,358 acres of land and was purchased by the federal government during a three-year period of 1935 to 1938.

The purchase of this land was authorized by the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, also known as the Submarginal Land Program. This program's objectives were to acquire eroded, worn-out farmland, resettle the occupants and develop the newly purchased land for other uses such as forestry, wildlife and recreation. Many other changes and actions occurred prior to the area being proclaimed a national forest.

On November 27, 1959, the area was proclaimed the Tuskegee National Forest by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Prior to federal government acquisition, the area that is now the Tuskegee National Forest was one of the most abused, eroded wastelands in Alabama. The land was 80 percent cut-over.

Information provided by USDA Forest Service



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