Forest (GSF) is Alabama’s largest state
forest. Managed by the Alabama Forestry
Commission encompassing 7,120 acres of
predominately longleaf pine Geneva State
Forest provides the state of Alabama with
one of the most valuable natural resources
The primary objective of GSF is timber and
secondary are wildlife and recreation. Management of the forest requires
sound guidance. Every five years a detailed plan is prepared to utilize
while conserving the native forest ecosystem at Geneva State Forest. The
plan subdivides the forestland into workable units. Planned tasks are
developed to enhance primary and secondary objectives. Afterwards, these
tasks are completed by AFC personnel.
Management of timber resources includes an
even-aged natural regeneration method (Shelter-wood System). A 75-year
rotation of the work units is in theory managed with three units per year
receiving active timber operations. Two work units receive either a
preparatory cutting or an establishment cutting. The third work unit
receives a removal cutting that will naturally regenerate a new stand of
Controlled burning is an effective forest
management tool used at GSF. Annually, one-third of the work units are
burned in a controlled manner. Controlled fire provides necessary conditions
for natural regeneration of longleaf pine; it improves forage for wildlife,
and provides many other benefits to other species of the longleaf pine
History of Geneva State Forest
In the early 1930’s Jackson Lumber Company
transferred the lands now known as Geneva State Forest to the State of
A common practice of landowners in the 1920’s
and 1930’s was to extensively clear-cut timber sites. After a site was
clear-cut the land seemed to be of little use; the stumps remaining presented
a major obstacle to turn the land into farmland and it was not considered
economical to replant. The Jackson Lumber Company unsuccessfully tried to
sell this area of land (GSF) as low as fifty cents per acre. Rather than pay
taxes on land considered of low value it was donated to the State of
During this period the United States was in a
severe depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented programs to
assist the economy. One program was the Civilian Conservation Corp. (CCC)
and its purpose was to conserve and develop natural resources by activities
such as planting tree, building dams, and fighting forest fires.
There were several of the CCC camps located
throughout the State of Alabama. One camp was located on what is now known
as the Geneva State Forest. The young men in this camp regenerated the
surrounding lands by hand planting tree seedlings.
Once considered useless or of little value the
Geneva State Forest now has an extremely high monetary value as well as the
preservation value for future generations. Through the sale of timber Geneva
State Forest has produced millions of dollars in revenue for the State of Alabama,
which contributes to the overall state economy.
Recreation at Geneva State Forest
In a cooperative agreement with the Alabama
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources the Geneva State Forest
Wildlife Management Area provides large and small game hunting to the
public. All hunting will be in accordance with the rules and
regulations of the Geneva State Forest Wildlife Management Area
Fishing, Trail riding, Hiking, and
is available in the 100-acre lake. Primitive roads throughout the forest provide a scenic view for trail
rides. The longleaf forests provide ample habitat for viewing many native
wildlife species including: deer, turkey, quail, rabbit, fox, bobcat,
squirrel, and non-game species as well. The Alabama Hiking Trail Society has
established and maintains a hiking trail around the lake. Each of these
recreational activities requires a daily permit which can be obtained at
Geneva State Forest Lake.
A daily permit fee of $2.00 is required
for each person between the ages of 16
and 59 years and a fee of $1.00 is
required for each person 60 or older for
approved recreational activities which
include picnicking, fishing, camping,
hiking, ATV riding, and horse riding.
Permit stub must be in possession to be
Swimming and wading are prohibited in
Gasoline powered motors are prohibited
Alcoholic beverages, firearms and
disorderly conduct are prohibited at
Geneva State Forest.
Motocross riding is prohibited at Geneva
Removing, cutting, destroying, and
damaging trees, shrubs, flowers, and
state property is prohibited.
Horses and ATV’s are prohibited in
picnic areas, and during scheduled
Geneva State Forest Management Area deer
gun hunt days.
Anyone under age 16 must be accompanied
and supervised by an adult.
Additional restrictions apply as
necessary and will be posted at lake on
left side of honor box billboard.
All vehicular traffic including ATV &
horse riding is strictly limited to
maintained roads and trails identified
with brochure map. Unless otherwise
posted speed limit is 25mph.
Vehicles associated with horses, ATV’s
and boats must park in designated
Visitors are responsible for trash and
State fishing rules and regulations
apply for lake and streams.
Capacity is limited and will be
determined by AFC personnel.
Campfires must be attended at all times
and completely extinguished after use.
All recreational groups of 15+ members
must make reservations prior to visit.
The AFC is not responsible for personal
injury and/or personal property.
Geneva State Forest Management Area is open
to the public for hunting in accordance with
Management Area Rules and Regulations.
Remember; be considerate to other
recreational users and their needs. Safety
should be your first priority. If you have
questions/concerns call 334-898-7013 for
Permit possession indicates awareness and
understanding of all preceding rules.
information or reservations call 334-898-7013
Map to Geneva State Forest