Spanning over 180,000 acres in northeast Alabama, the William B. Bankhead National Forest offers up a recreational outdoor paradise for nature lovers.
This vast area was once known as the Alabama National Forest after being set aside on January 15, 1918 as a management area.
In 1942 Congress changed the name of the forest to that of the William B. Bankhead in honor of Alabama native William B. Bankhead who served in Congress from 1917-1940.
Today the area contains majestic trees, abundant wildlife, campgrounds and recreational attractions.
The Bankhead NF spans across some of Winston, Lawrence and Franklin counties and is home to the Sipsey Wilderness and Sipsey Fork Wild and Scenic River, Corinth, Clear Creek and Houston Recreation Areas - with over 25,000 acres of ecological wonders.
Visitors will find primitive and full camping, day use areas with beaches, playgrounds, hiking trails, group pavilions and boating access to Lake Lewis Smith and plenty of trails on which to hike.
The eight major recreation areas within the forest include:
*Clear Creek Recreation Area located on the shores of Lewis Smith Lake offers visitors 102 campsites, a modern day use area, a 1.6-mile paved bicycle and walking trail and the 2.5-mile Raven Trail making it one of the state's most popular areas for outdoor recreation.
*Corinth Recreation Area is another modern campground on the shores of Lewis Smith Lake and has 52 campsites, 29 picnic sites and a 100-person pavilion with boat ramp and swimming beach.
*Houston Recreation Area has 88 rustic campsites, 14 picnic sites and a group shelter along with beach and boat launch.
*Flint Creek Multiple-use Trail winds for 16 miles for motorcycles, ATVs, hiking, biking and horse riding.
*Sipsey Wilderness provides for primitive hiking and back-packing with some routes for horse and wagons.
*Brushy Lake Recreation Area includes a 33-acre lake, 13 campsites.
*Owl Creek Horse Camp and Trail System is 25 miles of trails designed for horseback-riding, hiking and mountain bikes.
*Hurricane Creek Shooting Range is open year round for those interested in target practicing and the range is in 25, 500 and 100 yards.