Ozark–St. Francis National Forest

The Ozark–St. Francis National Forest is located in the state of Arkansas.  It is recognized as a United States National Forest. It encompasses both the Ozark National Forest, found in the Ozark Mountains, and the St. Francis National Forest, located at Crowley’s Ridge.  The nearest city to the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest is in Russellville, Arkansas.  Since being established in March of the year 1908, the national forest now is spread across 1,159,801 acres of land.

Description of Ozark-St. Francis National Forest

With both the Ozark National Forest and St. Francis National Forests combined, the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest is home to many popular tourist and visitor attractions.  Among these are camping on some of the 23 designated campgrounds, swimming in the nine designated areas to do so, hiking along the almost 400 miles of hiking trails provided, and fishing along the 370 miles of streams designed for the sport.  These trails provided for hiking, fishing, and other activities were constructed over the years by both the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Ozark-St. Forest National Park is well known for its gorgeous wildlife and natural views.  Among these are the 11,000 acres of old-growth forests.  Old-growth forests are sections of land that have not been disturbed and thus, over many years of growth, have become beautiful, notable pieces of nature—the old-growth forests found in the Ozark-St. Francis National Park, usually located in the southern portion of the forest, includes different oak trees, including the Post Oak, Blackjack Oak, Eastern Black Oak, White Oak, and the Northern Red Oak.  Aside from its vast array of oaks, trees, and other plants, the Ozark-St. Francis National Park is also home to six different endangered species.

Ozark National Forest

The Ozark National Forest is one of the two forests that make up the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest.  Encompassing over 1,200,000 acres of land, the Ozark National Forest is spread across 16 counties: Newton, Pope, Johnson, Franklin, Crawford, Logan, Baxter, Stone, Madison, Yell, Van Buren, Searcy, Washington, Benton, Conway, and Marion county.  The forest is primarily found in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

The Ozark National Forest was originally constructed in the year 1908 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation creating it.  The forest now, over 100 years later, contains over 500 different species of trees and plants.  Among the many trails available for visitors to walk upon are hiking trails, horseback riding trails, canoeing, mountain biking trails, and all-terrain vehicle trails.

St. Francis National Forest

The second forest that makes up the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest is the St. Francis National Forest.  Encompassing almost 23,000 acres of land, it is much smaller than the Ozark National Forest and is also one of the smallest national forests in the entire county.  The St. Francis National Forest was created much later than the Ozark National Forest in 1960, established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Among the vast nature preserved in the St. Francis National Forest are the Bear Creek Reservoir and the Storm Creek Lake, which are home to many popular fish species, including the largemouth bass, crappie, warmouth, and channel catfish.

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