National forest: Home | US Forest Service

Maps | US Forest Service

Standard Map Products

The Forest Service publishes a variety of map products to help you plan your next adventure or enjoy your next visit!

National Overview Maps

We’ve released the next generation Interactive Visitor Map! Visitor Map 2.0, provides the public with an online view of Forest Service roads, trails, recreation sites, wilderness areas, and wild & scenic rivers. 

“A Guide To Your National Forests” is a free brochure showing locations of national forests and grasslands along with contact information.

 

 

Forest Visitor Maps, National Forest Atlas, and Wilderness Maps

These maps are available for purchase at the U.S. Geological Survey Store, many Forest Service offices and other retail outlets. Many Forest Visitor Maps are also available for purchase as georeferenced PDFs on Avenza, for use on mobile devices.

  • Forest Visitor Maps for each national forest and grassland provide forest-wide information on attractions, facilities, services, and opportunities.
  • National Forest Atlases are full color atlases, containing 8.5-inch by 11-inch topographic quadrangle maps at 1 inch to the mile scale and are available for many of the forests in California.
  • Wilderness Maps are topographic maps that show natural features such as mountains, valleys, plains, lakes, rivers, and vegetation using contour lines depicting elevation gain or loss. Each map covers all or part of one wilderness area and the scale is generally 1 inch per mile (1:63,360).

Topographic Maps

FSTopo is the Forest Service series of large scale topographic maps. FSTopo maps are 7.5 minute, 1:24,000-scale over the conterminous United States, and 15 minute X 20-22.5 minute, 1:63,360-scale over Alaska. These maps are available in several formats:

  • Geo-enabled PDFs.
  • Geotiffs that contain both collar and non-collar editions in a single zipped file.
  • Hard copies are available for purchase at some Forest Service offices, U. S. Geological Survey Store, and some retail outlets.

Motor Vehicle Use Maps

Motor Vehicle Use Maps identify those roads, trails, and areas designated for motor vehicle use are available one or more ways:

  • PDFs
  • Georeferenced PDFs through Avenza.
  • Printed maps at Forest Service offices.

Other Map Products

FSGeodata Clearinghouse

The Forest Service Geodata Clearinghouse is an online collection of digital data related to forest resources. Through the Geodata Clearinghouse you can find datasets related to forests and grasslands. You can also find boundaries and ownership, natural resources, roads and trails, and datasets related to state and private forested areas such as insect and disease threat and surface water importance. The information includes map products you can download, raster data, and links to other resources.

National Forests and Grasslands produced maps

Most national forests and grasslands offer online maps or instructions on how to obtain a printed map.

Map Services

Nationwide datasets are published as map services. These map services are available:

  • in the REST directory
  • on ArcGIS Online
  • on data.gov

Dynamic Maps

  • ArcGIS Online Applications
    ArcGIS Online is a collaborative, cloud-based platform that allows members of an organization to use, create, and share maps, scenes, apps, and data, and access authoritative basemaps and ready-to-use apps. Several National Map Viewer Applications have been created using AGOL and include:

    • Indian Lands Map Viewer
    • Land Status and Encumbrance Map Service Viewer
    • Forest Service Communications Site Map

For more maps please visit ArcGIS Online.

Active Fire Mapping Program

The Active Fire Mapping Program is an operational, satellite-based fire detection and monitoring program managed by the Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Active Fire Mapping program provides near real-time detection and characterization of wildland fire conditions in a geospatial context for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Detectable fire activity across all administrative ownerships in the United States and Canada are mapped and characterized by the program.

Roadless

The 2001 Roadless Rule establishes prohibitions on road construction, road reconstruction, and timber harvesting on 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas on lands managed by the agency. The intent of the rule is to provide lasting protection for inventoried roadless areas in the context of multiple-use management.

  • Roadless maps

National Forest System Land Ownership and Boundary Information

Land Status and Encumbrance Map Service Viewer

Visit Destinations | US Forest Service

Your national forests and grasslands are 193 million acres of vast, scenic beauty waiting for you to discover. Visitors who choose to recreate on these public lands find more than 150,000 miles of trails, 10,000 developed recreation sites, 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 338,000 heritage sites, and specially designated sites that include 9,100 miles of byways, 22 recreation areas, 11 scenic areas, 439 wilderness areas, 122 wild and scenic rivers, nine monuments, and one preserve. And remember, “It’s All Yours.”

Displaying 1 — 25 of 17257

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Flat Mountain Pond Shelter can be reached in 5.3 miles from this trailhead.

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Camp here and you’ll be at the headwaters of the Wisconsin River! You’ll also be on a lake that has been «home» to Chippewa (Ojibwa) American Indians for centuries. This 4,017-acre lake is one of the largest lake on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and is shared with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
If you are planning to fish, please review the border lake fishing…

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This remote 13,400 acre wilderness offers opportunities for solitude. The major creeks of Black Canyon and Cottonwood bisect the area. Dense thickets of willow and brush follow the stream course. Hillsides are dominated by mixed conifer and stands of park-like ponderosa pine. Ridge-tops are predominantly open sagebrush with some mountain mahogany. Deer and elk are common year round. The lucky observer may also see…

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The Ella Trail #732 begins in a large open park off the Bailey Road, FSR #128.1B. There is mostly spruce/fir stands on either side of the park. The trail continues through the park for the better half of the trail before it ascends through patchy spruce/fir stands and wet, marshy areas. Though the trail climbs it is, for the most part, very gradual and not difficult to navigate. Bailey and Hansen reserviors can…

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The Fisherman’s Point Day Use and Picnic area is located near Shasta Dam. Exit I-5 at Shasta Dam Boulevard. You will come to a four-way stop after you go through the City of Shasta Lake. Turn right and follow Lake Boulevard towards Shasta Dam and the Centimudi Boat Ramp.

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Dispersed Camping on the shore of Lake Isabella. No trash receptacles available (Pack In-Pack Out). ALL Upper Kern Dispersed Camping sites, under restrictions — No Camping or Campfires are allowed within 25 feet of the water’s edge.
Dispersed Camping Rules, Regulations, and Tips

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Tellico River is primarily known for its incredible fishing opportunites.  Fishing rules and regulations on the Tellico River are managed through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.  For a full list of these rules and regulations, please visit TWRA’s website HERE.
With…

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Generally open May to October, as weather and conditions allow.  
Near historic town of Belmont.  Short distance to Barley Crrek and Cottonwood Creek trailheads that access Table Mountain Wilderness and Pine Creek Trailhead that access Alta Toquima Wilderness.

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Located on the northeast shore of Green Mountain Reservoir, this campground has vault toilets and a stay limit of 14 days. Many activities occur on the lake including fishing, motor boating, sailing, canoeing, and sailboarding. The boat ramp is across the reservoir at the town of Heeney.
Also check out…

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Hermit’s Hole is a popular raft launching and take-out site. 

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Southern access to the Gospel-Hump Wilderness and Idaho Centennial Trail #88. Trailhead for horses and pack animals.

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The quality snow conditions and challenging terrain in the Sonora Pass area provide avid snowmobilers, backcountry skiers, and snowboarders the opportunity to experience extreme winter sports unmatched anywhere in the Sierra Nevada.

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Nordheimer Group Campground is located in a Douglas-fir and hardwood forest close to the Wild and Scenic California Salmon River. Roads and parking areas are gravel. Group sites A, B, and C have large grassy meadows, surrounded by forest. Site D overlooks the Salmon River with easy walking access for boaters and swimmers. Restrooms are portable in sites A, B and C. Site D has its own accessible vault type…

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Along Evergreen Road near State Highway 120. Picnic tables, vault toilets, grills.

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The Bucktail Creek Trail #659 begins at Forest Service Road #604.1A and ends at the National Forest Boundary.  The trail descends into a draw and crosses west/southwest above the Big Bucktail Creek drainage.  It follows along above the creek and after about 3.3 miles it intersects the Bucktail Creek Spur Trail #659.1A. Continue south on the Bucktail Creek trail for another 1.2 miles were it terminates at…

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Paul Reservoir is a small remote reservoir surrounded by timber and sagebrush where anglers can easily fish from the shore, a small boat or float tube.   Aside from fishing, the area is a great place to camp, hike and watch wildlife.  There are no facilities available.

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This spectacular site has three campground loops — Shining Cloud, Yellow Moon, and Morning Star. It has the greatest number of huge, old Sequoia tree stumps and young Sequoia trees along with a pleasant variety of conifers. Shade is good throughout the campground; privacy between camp sites is fair to good. Princess Campground is in the middle of Indian Basin Grove next to Indian Basin Meadow and Creek.…

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The Gore Creek campground is located along Gore Creek in a forested setting near the boundary of the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness.This is the closest campground to the town of Vail, CO and there are several trailheads nearby into the Eagles Nest Wilderness; all wilderness regulations must be observed when traveling in the wilderness (foot…

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Located on Bass Lake off road 222, past the Pines Resort. Area has pine, oak and cedar trees. Sites have good shade.
Total Picnic Sites: none

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Sixty-one miles northeast of Pierce, Idaho, a basic platform tower was built atop this mountain peak in 1917 with the addition of living quarters in the 1920s, and was refurbished in 1952. The Forest Service continued to use the lookout on emergency basis into the 1970s. The Scurvy Lookout is equipped with a woodstove, kerosene lantern, and accomodations for two. It is currently being considered for future use as a…

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Generally, open April to December, as weather and condition allow.
Access/entry point to the Mt. Charleston Wilderness Area.

 

US Cherokee National Forest

Image from pixabay.com

The Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee’s largest natural reserve and the largest body of public land, is the only national forest in the state. Its origins go back to the Weeks Act of 1911, which gave the federal government the power to purchase private land to create national forests as a way to regulate shipping flows and timber production. At 19In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson formally united the various federal lands along the southern Appalachians into national forests. But it wasn’t until 1936, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt consolidated Tennessee’s portions of the Unaka, Cherokee, and Pisgah National Forests, that the Cherokee National Forest was created in its current form. Today its 2590 sq. km are entirely within the borders of Tennessee, from Bristol to Chattanooga.

The Cherokee National Forest, which ranges from 300 to 1800 meters above sea level, has steep slopes, narrow ridge tops and narrow valley streams. The tributaries of the Tennessee River drain almost all of the forest. Igneous and metamorphic rocks and highly deformed sedimentary rocks characterize its geology. Although extensive folded areas and numerous faults are considered inactive, small fluctuations are sometimes measured.

The forest is a very diverse area, which is home to at least twenty thousand species of plants and animals. More than 120 bird species, 47 mammals, 55 reptiles and amphibians and 154 fish species can be found in the forest. Among the hundreds of wildlife species and thousands of plant species, some are federally designated as endangered. Part of the forest’s mission is to provide a safe habitat for these plants and animals, as well as to conserve watersheds and wildlife and significant cultural resources, many dating back to the New Deal era and the influence of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

A long and varied series of occupation and land use dating back at least ten thousand years characterizes the human history of the forest. The Cherokee Indians, after whom the national forest is named, used the forest resources primarily for hunting and gathering. The contact of the Cherokee Indians with Europeans dramatically changed the tribal lands of this people. European-introduced diseases, wars and cultural assimilation devastated the tribe, and in 1838 they were forcibly expelled from their tribal lands.

The white settlement dates from the early 1770s. The Tombstone Victory National Historic Trail passes through the scenic Roan Forest and commemorates the American victory over the British at Kings Mountain. After the Revolutionary War, European Americans steadily advanced through the Appalachians into the Tennessee River valley, picking fertile land from within, over the rugged terrain of the forest. Those settlers who remained in what is now the national forest often came from Scotland, Ireland, Germany or England and usually lived in isolated areas on farms. The forest region remained much the same until northern mining and logging companies moved into the region in the early 1880s.

Lumber companies realized the enormous profits that could be made from clearing the vast mountain forests, and by 1910 the area supplied nearly 40 percent of the wood produced in the United States. As a consequence, outside interests owned large tracts of land, while the number of small mountain farms decreased. The new towns became human settlements, while the locals worked in the forests and labor camps. When the lumber industry began harvesting western forests fifty years later, it became the barren ground of the Cherokee National Forest, leaving people unemployed, poor, and with limited natural resources.

Beginning in 1912, the federal government played an important role in forest conservation by purchasing land that was used by unregulated logging and mining operations. Roosevelt’s new legacy illustrates even more important federal government assistance in forest conservation. The Civilian New Deal Preservation Corps (NCC) worked to restore the national forest during the 1930s, planting hundreds of thousands of seedlings. The new trees contributed to drainage and soil conservation. CCC has also built trails, fire towers, recreation centers, and local roads and highways. CCC has helped to conserve and restore the forest, as well as to create the infrastructure that allows the public to access its beauty and adventure.

Timber production, currently regulated by the US Forest Service, remains important, but recreational activities have become more common. Millions of people visit the forest each year to enjoy the scenery and recreational opportunities such as hiking, rafting, kayaking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, canoeing, driving for fun, horseback riding, and off-road vehicle. The Okoye River in the southern part and the Appalachian Trail in both parts are known worldwide for their exceptional recreational qualities. The forest also has over seventeen hundred recorded cultural properties across the various landscapes within its boundaries, and the US Forest Service and other conservation groups are working to document, interpret, and protect these non-renewable resources.

The forest faces and continues to face problems with vegetation and forest health. In the 1930s, one of the largest and most important trees, the American Chestnut, of the southern Appalachian Forest virtually disappeared. The southern pine beetle epidemic has infected and killed thousands of acres of yellow pine and continues to be a threat. Other threats include the gypsy moth, woolly adelgid hillock, and dogwood anthracnose.

Another problem is related to the impact of recreation on the environment and cultural resources of the region. Some groups feel that officials place too much emphasis on recreation and tourism over conservation and preservation.

The Cherokee National Forest serves as a constant reminder of the state and the nation as a whole. Reforestation, recreational development and many forest structures exist as part of the CCC landscape without which visitors cannot fully access and enjoy the beauty, adventure and culture of the area.

Elena Kuravleva

I am the author of many articles on this site and a travel blogger. In 2011, I quit my corporate job and started traveling. I’ve been to 36 countries on 6 continents and don’t want to stop anytime soon!

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