Oconee National Forest
The Oconee National Forest is roughly half way between Macon and Athens, Georgia. The government established the forest to reclaim farm land ruined by erosion, and although pine trees now stabilize the soil, you can still see some of the erosion gullies. Although we are concentrating on hiking and camping opportunities, the region includes several large artificial lakes suitable for motor boats.
- Our list of recommended natural sites in the Oconee Forest
- Suggestions for navigating the official web site
- How to get maps of the forest
Note: Like all National Forests, hiking and camping are allowed anywhere except where specifically prohibited. However, many parcels of land in the area are not part of the National Forest. Please respect the private landowners' rights.
Caution: Hunting is also allowed anywhere in the National Forest, except where specifically prohibited. We recommend you stay away from active hunting areas, unless you are familiar with the hazards and appropriate precautions. Hunting is prohibited in certain popular recreation areas. Also, the whole National Forest is free of hunting certain parts of the year. Contact the ranger station for details.
Point of Contact
Oconee Ranger District
1199 Madison Road
Eatonton GA 31024
The ranger station is located on US Highway 129/441, 6.4 miles north of the city of Eatonton. While you are there, you might want to check out the Rock Eagle effigy, a prehistoric relic and public picnic area just 0.3 miles further north.
The official web site for the Chattahoochee- Oconee National Forest has been
expanded, and now includes information on some of the natural sites we
recommend. Even though the official site lacks detail about the trails, it is
useful to check it before travelling to the trail. This is because
the official web site does provide information whether the trail is open.
There are several ways to navigate the official site. We provide
instructions for the natural sites we recommend. To
get a list of all the Oconee Forest natural sites that
currently have web pages, follow these instructions:
Some of these sites are somewhat hard to find, so we recommend a map. The
National Forest Service web site has inline Google Maps, however Google Maps
is not optimized for Forest Service roads and doesn't show the trails at all. The brochure "Trails of the
Chattahoochee- Oconee National Forests" is somewhat outdated, but provides the
best available maps for many of the trails. The general Oconee National Forest
map is the best for finding the trailheads, and it shows most of the
actual trails. Digital copies are available from a vendor
who has a link on the official web
site. Professionally printed copies are available for sale at the ranger
station and some camping goods stores. One of the advantages of the
professionally printed forest map is it is waterproof.
- Open the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest web site
- Select "Recreation" on the left side of the page
- Look for "Areas and Activities" on the right side of the page
- Expand "Find An Area" (select the plus sign)
- Expand "Oconee Ranger District" (select the plus sign)
- Read the list and select the site you want.
This page is just a starting point. Once you decide which sites you might visit, we strongly recommend you contact the owner or manager for the latest information on features, access, and safety.
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David Farrier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last edited 23 January 2012.