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Visit Date: 9/24/2009
The Tuskegee National Forest is in southeast Alabama and consists
of 11,000 acres. There are no developed campgrounds, but there
are 14 designated dispersed (primitive) campsites described
About midway between Auburn University and Tuskegee University,
just off Interstate 85, is the little known and seldom visited
Tuskegee National Forest. Offering visitors with a variety of
recreational opportunities, such as hiking, fishing, picnicking,
and wildlife viewing, visitors to Tuskegee NF will find no
developed campgrounds like those found on other national forests.
Rather, the Tuskegee NF has taken advantage of its topography and
limited visitation to provide 14 designated, dispersed campsites
scattered throughout the forest.
At one time, the area now known as Tuskegee National Forest (NF),
was overworked and tired. The area was considered "the most
abused land in the state of Alabama." Today, the land is managed
by the Forest Service to improve the recreation, wildlife, water
quality and timber resources of east-central Alabama. Many
restoration projects and changes have occurred since the federal
government purchase the land in the mid-1930s. Today's visitors
to Tuskegee NF see a landscape reborn and healing.
One good way to observe the healing is via one of Tuskegee's
trails. Most popular are the Bartram and Bold Destiny/Bedford V
Cash Memorial Trails.
The Bartram trail, named for the American-born naturalist,
William Bartram, who traveled through the south in the 1770s,
observing and recording what he saw, is a designated National
Recreation Trail. It is open to hikers and mountain bike
enthusiasts and is considered the best single track trail in
central Alabama. The Bold Destiny trail, the newest trail in the
Tuskegee NF, was designed for equestrian use but foot hikers are
welcome. This trail winds through the northern portions of the
forest and, at 14 miles in length, can be completed in one day.
The unusual variety of plant species that grow in this second
growth forest coexists with an abundance of mammals, reptiles,
birds, and insects. This diversity of flora and fauna reflect
the ecological uniqueness of the Tuskegee NF. One location where
this uniqueness can be observed is at the Tsinia Wildlife Viewing
Area. The Forest Service maintains the area by planting crops
and shrubs to attract and sustain a population of wildlife
species for visitors to observe.
To the delight of anglers, the Tuskegee NF has two small ponds
managed for fishing. Okhussee Chutkee (small pond) and Okhussee
Thloko (big pond) give anglers an opportunity to catch Largemouth
bass, catfish, and bream. Other areas offering fishing are
Uphapee and Choctafaula creeks. These creeks have not only
Largemouth bass, catfish and bream but some Spotted bass too.
Day trips from the Tuskegee NF are numerous and varied. In
Tuskegee, AL there is the Tuskegee Institute National Historic
Site, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (afterwhich, the
movie, "Red Tails" is dedicated), and George Washington Carver
Museum, among other attractions. Chewacia State Park, Auburn
University, George Washington Carver Museum, Donald E. Davis
Arboretum and more are found in Auburn, AL. Since the Tuskegee
NF is halfway between Tuskegee and Auburn, one of its designated
dispersed campsites is a good home base for exploring not only
the attractions found in town, but also to enjoy the wonders of
nature in the Tuskegee National Forest.
The designated dispersed campsites offer visitors a dispersed
camping experience with a cleared area but no other amenities.
There are no tables, grilles, vault toilets, drinking water or
trash pickups. Although most sites do have large level areas,
high clearance vehicles are recommended for a few. Use of the
campsites requires a permit (no charge) which can be obtained at
the Tuskegee Ranger District office in Tuskegee, AL, below.
The following table will help the camper locate
Tuskegee's 14 designated dispersed campsites.
CAMPGROUND LOOKUP TABLE
||N32 26.126,W85 38.825
||N32 26.593,W85 38.335
||N32 27.305,W85 38.613
||N32 27.435,W85 38.259
||N32 27.455,W85 37.744
||N32 28.998,W85 35.863
||N32 29.789,W85 36.769
||N32 29.961,W85 33.550
||N32 30.562,W85 34.177
||N32 29.179,W85 35.293
||N32 27.455,W85 37.744
||N32 27.844,W85 38.270
||N32 26.508,W85 37.988
||N32 26.499,W85 38.012
1/ Tent or RV
2/ High clearance vehicle recommended
Click on a Site# for picture.
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2946 Highland Ave
Montgomery, Alabama 36107-3010
RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES
125 Nat. Forest Rd. 949
Tuskegee, Alabama 36083