The William B. Bankhead National Forest is administered by the U.S. Forest Service and encompasses a total area of about 181,000 acres of land in three different counties in Alabama (Winston County, Lawrence County, and Franklin County). This national forest is named in honor of William B. Bankhead who was a longtime U.S. Representative from Alabama. The forest is accessible through several routes including AL 5, AL 74, AL 195 and US 278.
Some of the cities or towns that are near this national park include Jasper, Haleyville, Russellville, and Decatur. Several features make Bankhead National Forest stand out as an attraction to its visitors. First, the national forest is one of Alabama’s four national forests that covers over 180,000 acres of land. Secondly, this national forest is the home of the Sipsey Fork which is Alabama’s only National Wild and Scenic River.
Additionally, the 25,000-acre Sipsey Wilderness is the largest wilderness in the areas that are east of the Mississippi River. Besides these attractions, other recreational attractions make the Bankhead National Forest an attractive place to visit. Some of these attractions include hiking, hunting, camping, swimming, boating, ORV riding, horseback riding, bicycling, and fishing.
Lewis Smith Lake which is within the forest land is popular for bass and bluegill fishing. If you love to take your dog with you on outdoor excursions, then you will be happy to know that you can bring your pooch with you to the forest. That said, it is important to know that there are some simple but very important rules about your dog that must be followed.
For example, while at the William B. Bankhead National Forest, you must ensure that you always have your dog secured in an enclosure or leashed. Your dog’s leash must be not more than six feet in length. Additionally, you must respect the park resources as well as other park visitors, and this includes picking up after your pooch and making sure that they do not cause disturbance or threaten wildlife or plants in the forest.