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Know Before You Drive in Alabama’s National Forests

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The Forest Service is encouraging motorists to “Know Before You Drive” in order to sustain the health of Alabama’s national forests. Motorists interested in driving through the Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee National Forests can obtain a free motor vehicle use map (MVUM) that identifies which Forest Service roads and trails are designated for motor vehicle use. The motor vehicle use map was created to comply with the 2005 national Travel Management Rule requiring each national forest to evaluate road systems to limit environmental impacts on public lands. MVUMs are updated annually and posted directly on the National Forests in Alabama website at or available at Forest Service district offices throughout the state.

MVUM only displays roads and trails that are open to motorized vehicles

  • When a Forest Service road is open, the public will see a numbered sign and the road will be identified on the MVUM. Open Forest Service roads that access wildlife management areas are also shown on the MVUM and the Alabama Department of Conservation’s wildlife management area maps and hunting permits.
  • On Alabama’s national forests, 1,177 miles of road system are open annually or seasonally to state-licensed, street-legal vehicles.
  • The Bankhead District and Talladega National Forest-Talladega District are the only two districts that have 42 miles of trails specifically designated for all-terrain vehicles.
  • Federal and state land managers are provided limited administrative access to some areas of closed forest for official management purposes.
  • MVUM will display roads that access Wildlife Management Areas if the Forest Service has jurisdiction and primary maintenance responsibility for the access road.
  • A wheelchair or mobility device is not considered to be a motor vehicle. This includes devices that are battery powered, suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area and are designed exclusively to give a mobility-impaired person locomotion.
  • People traveling on a forest road or trail not identified on the MVUM can be cited. Violations of 36 CFR 261.13 are subject of a fine up to $5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
  • For information regarding the MVUM, please contact the following Forest Service district offices: Bankhead District (205) 489-5111; Conecuh District (334) 222-2555; Shoal Creek District (256) 463-2272; Talladega District (256) 362-2909; Oakmulgee District (205) 926-9765; and the Tuskegee District (334) 727-2652.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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