William B. Bankhead National Forest Information

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William B. Bankhead National Forest
A photo of Clear Creek in early spring in William B. Bankhead National Forest
Clear Creek
Map showing the location of William B. Bankhead National Forest
Map showing the location of William B. Bankhead National Forest
Location Lawrence / Winston / Franklin counties, Alabama, United States
Nearest city Decatur, AL
Coordinates 34°14′14″N 87°20′4″W / 34.23722°N 87.33444°W / 34.23722; -87.33444

34°14′14″N 87°20′4″W / 34.23722°N 87.33444°W / 34.23722; -87.33444
Area181,230 acres (733.4 km2)
EstablishedJanuary 15, 1918 [1]
Named for William B. Bankhead
Governing body U.S. Forest Service
Website Bankhead National Forest

The William B. Bankhead National Forest is one of Alabama's four National Forests, covering 181,230 acres (733 km2). [2] 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. [3]

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). [1] On June 19, 1936 it was renamed Black Warrior National Forest [4], which in turn was renamed William B. Bankhead National Forest on June 6, 1942. [5] [6] In 1959, Executive Order 10850 removed land from the forest's boundaries.


  1. ^ a b Proclamation 1423 of January 15, 1918. President Woodrow Wilson. 40  Stat.  1740
  2. ^ Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County - United States Forest Service - September 30, 2007
  3. ^ "National Forests in Alabama". USDA Forest Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
  4. ^ Proclamation 2178 by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1936. 49  Stat.  3526. 1 FR 645.
  5. ^ Davis, Richard C. (September 29, 2005). "National Forests of the United States" (PDF). The Forest History Society.
  6. ^ AN ACT To change the name of the Black Warrior National Forest to the William B. Bankhead National Forest. Pub.L.  77–595, 56  Stat.  327, enacted June 6, 1942.

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