The Conecuh National Forest is the southern-most national forest in Alabama, encompassing 84,000 acres between Andalusia, Alabama, and the Florida line. This public-land jewel supports prime examples of habitats and associated species found in natural ecosystems of the lower coastal plain. Prime among these habitats are upland longleaf pine forest and shallow ponds and bogs that are maintained by regular ground fires. This rich ecological backdrop provides setting for a wide variety of recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, backpacking, picnicking, bicycling, shooting sports, wildlife viewing, and nature study.
History of Conecuh National Forest:
The Conecuh National Forest was established in 1935 on 54,117 acres of barren land in Covington and Escambia Counties. Wildfire control and reforestation were initially major concerns, with thousands of tree seedlings being planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees. Over time, the forest has undergone many changes, with the current focus being the restoration of the Long Leaf Pine ecosystem, enhancement of the Red-Cockaded woodpecker’s habitat, and restoration of recreation areas. The forest now covers just over 84,000 acres, with timber production peaking in the mid-1980s and restoration efforts ongoing in the 21st century.