March 14 - November 1
Restroom: Vault Operated By: Forest Service
Natural Bridge Picnic
Area is the oldest national forest
recreation site in Alabama. A paved trail
(approximately 3/8 mile) leads to this natural rock
archway deep in a forest of hardwoods,
quaintly-positioned in Bankhead National
Forest. So pack a picnic and make the
hiking trek to this area.
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The William B.
Bankhead National Forest is one of
Alabama's four National Forests, covering 181,230
acres. It is home to Alabama's only National Wild
and Scenic River, the Sipsey Fork. It is
located in northwestern Alabama, around the town of
Double Springs. It is named in honor of
William B. Bankhead, a longtime U.S. Representative
The National Forests in Alabama
began with the Alabama Purchase Unit, established by
the National Forest Commission in Fiscal Year 1914.
The area was proclaimed the Alabama National Forest
by President Woodrow Wilson on January 15, 1918.
The first forest was located in
Franklin, Lawrence and Winston Counties. Land
acquisition files show that much of the ridge tops
had been cut-over and approximately 40-percent of
the land was cut-over, cultivated and vacated
farmland. The virgin timber must have been located
in the deep gorges and on public domain land.
On June 19, 1936, by proclamation
of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Alabama
National Forest was renamed the Black Warrior
National Forest. About six years later on June 17,
1942, the name was changed, by an Act of Congress,
to the William B. Bankhead National Forest.