7 BEST PUBLIC LANDS IN THE COUNTRY
7 Best Public Lands in the Country – Did you know there are 614 million acres of public lands in the United States? These public lands are preserved so that we can enjoy nature, completely uninterrupted. Four different federal agencies manage the public lands. These agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. People from around the world love the scenic views of these public lands. These lands also offer plenty of opportunities for camping, hiking, canoeing, and observing wildlife.
Here are 7 of the best public lands the country has to offer.
1. Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
This public land is located in the southwestern corner of Utah. The lands cover 45,000 acres, which include 130 miles of non-motorized trails. Three ecosystems merge at Red Cliffs National Conservation area. These ecosystems include the Mohave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau.
2. Four Dances Natural Area
Named after Four Dances, a Crow Indian chief, these public lands are located in Billings, Montana. The Yellowstone River provides the west boundary for the lands. Four Dances Natural Area includes 765 acres of undeveloped open space. One of the main attractions is a plateau edged with cliffs that drop 500 feet to the Yellowstone River.
3. Pike National Forest
Located west of Colorado Springs, Pike National Forest comprises nearly 1 million acres of public land. Some of the most popular attractions include Devil’s Head Lookout, Eleven Mile Canyon, Pikes Peak Mountain, and Gold Camp Road. For just $20, visitors can even cut down their own Christmas tree.
4. August A. Busch Conservation Area
Made up of nearly 7,000 acres, August A. Busch Conservation Area is located 33 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. Many people from the city of St. Louis travel to these public lands to take advantage of the many hunting opportunities. The area also has 28 fishable ponds and lakes and a 1,300-gallon aquarium.
5. The Black Hills National Forest
Covering over one million acres of public land, Black Hills National Forest straddles South Dakota and Wyoming. Some of the most popular sites include Roughlock Falls, Spearfish Canyon, the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, and of course, Mount Rushmore.
6. Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area
When one thinks about getting back to nature, the city of Miami isn’t usually the first place people think of. However, just 77 miles from Miami sits Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area. The area includes over 565,000 acres of pinelands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and freshwater marshes. Located next to Everglades National Park, visitors encounter plenty of wildlife, including black bears and panthers.
7. White Rock Lake
This reservoir, located just 5 miles from downtown Dallas, covers over 1,000 acres. White Rock Lake is one of the most popular public lands in the Dallas Park system. It also includes a 9.33 mile hike and bike trail, an Audubon Society bird-watching area, the Dallas Arboretum, and the White Rock Lake Museum.