I'm looking up maps of public national forests, to find nice land suitable for me to head out in and do recreation activities.

I'm looking up maps of public national forests, to find nice land suitable for me to head out in and do recreation activities. Something that has been irking me, is that often the best access points and most convenient to public land for me are privately owned. I found a whole section of national forest essentially surrounded by private land, and for me to access it easily I'd have to cross through private land. Like why is this shit allowed for people to buy access points to public land, and then use it for their own purposes in addition to using the public land for their own purposes. Many of these people will have an effective monopoly of the public land, because they own the easiest access points and it's not easily available for anyone else. So they "control", or at the very least have a near monopoly use of the public land for their own purposes, a much greater amount of land than they actually own.

Is it a case of, they owned the land before the national forest existed, or these land are being traded privately to gain effective monopoly usage of a great amount of public land?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I notice a lot of cases where the closest access to a scenic point of interest is a small road with properties on it and the road is deliberately designed to end on private property, just before it enters public land, so you cant park there to hike without trespassing
    the system is very much set up to be anti-hiker
    and there are countries with right to roam that don't have problems with hikers, so its a myth that they would leave trash or whatever if you have right to roam
    I hope the system changes before I die

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I noticed this as well. I'm glad it wasn't just me. If you ask me, I think it's bullshit, but perhaps it is a case of someone having sovereignty over the land before the state came in and established a reservation or park. I guess it could be worse, but it's still not a great situation in the US. Just a few years ago, two entire mountains over 3500' (some of the highest in the park) have become entirely closed off to the public at the Catskills due to the landowners not wanting to deal with hikers anymore--land that is apparently unused by the landowners throughout most of the year.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Get a friend to drop you off and walk through their land OP. If someone tries to stop you say “sorry trying to reach this specific section of land and didn’t know if there was a trailhead, do you know where one is?” Usually they’ll let you pass and if it’s not posted at least in my state they really can’t stop you.

        >convenient
        >easily
        Sounds like you're too lazy to walk a little bit and want to take the shortest path possible. Maybe focus on enjoying PrepHole instead of crying that you can't take shortcuts.

        Some of these people you'd need a helicopter to legally access the public land.

        >Rich people have an effective monopoly on private land
        The issue is that you're only now realizing this. The entire timber industry is a private/corporate grift because rich people have a monopoly and idiots don't question why we have to never ever allow old growth to recover or why we still build houses like it's 1920.

        No, people buy a strip of public land that is an access point to a vast amount of public land, and effectively cut the public off from access to the public land. Everyone is supposed to be able to use public national forests for recreational activities.

        To just demonstrate a point, imagine if there's an island of public land and that island is part of a national forest. There could be a bridge that goes to the public land, and then, someone buys an acre tract of land directly in front of the bridge and then posts private property signs up everywhere on it to deny public access to it.

        So now, this person that did this, owns his acre of private land, but also has an effectively monopoly over the entire island behind his tract. Most people would even mistakenly assume the entire island is private property if they didn't research a property database. And for the public that did their research, the only access they could have to the island is by air of water.

        I see this everywhere over national forests, sometimes it is actually as bad as my example, sometimes one property owner, or multiple ones that block off access to the public land behind their properties.

        It would be different if this was property owned before the national forest existed. But it's people that are taking public land then making it private and then denying the public access to that land and often in addition to blocking access to public land adjacent to their private tracts.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >due to the landowners not wanting to deal with hikers anymore
        I wonder why multiple landowners would all come to that same conclusion? Maybe if you people could behave yourselves and be appropriately grateful toward the people who let you walk through their private property instead of being arrogant entitled buttholes, then they wouldn't have to end up banning you.

        [...]
        [...]
        Some of these people you'd need a helicopter to legally access the public land.
        [...]
        No, people buy a strip of public land that is an access point to a vast amount of public land, and effectively cut the public off from access to the public land. Everyone is supposed to be able to use public national forests for recreational activities.

        To just demonstrate a point, imagine if there's an island of public land and that island is part of a national forest. There could be a bridge that goes to the public land, and then, someone buys an acre tract of land directly in front of the bridge and then posts private property signs up everywhere on it to deny public access to it.

        So now, this person that did this, owns his acre of private land, but also has an effectively monopoly over the entire island behind his tract. Most people would even mistakenly assume the entire island is private property if they didn't research a property database. And for the public that did their research, the only access they could have to the island is by air of water.

        I see this everywhere over national forests, sometimes it is actually as bad as my example, sometimes one property owner, or multiple ones that block off access to the public land behind their properties.

        It would be different if this was property owned before the national forest existed. But it's people that are taking public land then making it private and then denying the public access to that land and often in addition to blocking access to public land adjacent to their private tracts.

        >people buy a strip of public land that is an access point to a vast amount of public land, and effectively cut the public off from access to the public land.
        So what you're saying is that all of the area surrounding public land should also be public land? You realize this is impossible, right? If private land isn't allowed to border public land then you'd have to just endlessly expand the public land until no private land remains.

        Reasonable people have no problem with allowing access through their properties and I promise you that all of the examples you're listing are people who regularly allow people they know to cross their property to access the public land but the fact of the matter is that the general public are selfish buttholes and the second you tell them it's ok to cross your property, you're going to get all kinds of garbage camping on your land, littering everywhere, stealing anything within sight of the path used to travel to the public land, shooting guns across your property, etc.

        If you are a nice, responsible person and you want to access these public lands then you talk to the people whose property you need to cross, you explain your position, you assure them that you will be nice and respectful, and in 9/10 cases they'll be perfectly fine with it.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          People shouldn't be able to deny access to privately held land they're not habitating in national forests unless their ownship of the land predates the national forest.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >privately held land they're not habitating in national forests
            how much privately held land IN a NF is there? very little out west

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >I hope the system changes before I die
      homie, America is collapsing in a decade or two.

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    What state do you live/hike in? That's gotta be a significant factor, right?

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Get a friend to drop you off and walk through their land OP. If someone tries to stop you say “sorry trying to reach this specific section of land and didn’t know if there was a trailhead, do you know where one is?” Usually they’ll let you pass and if it’s not posted at least in my state they really can’t stop you.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      spoken like a true hasn't tried it.

      I noticed this as well. I'm glad it wasn't just me. If you ask me, I think it's bullshit, but perhaps it is a case of someone having sovereignty over the land before the state came in and established a reservation or park. I guess it could be worse, but it's still not a great situation in the US. Just a few years ago, two entire mountains over 3500' (some of the highest in the park) have become entirely closed off to the public at the Catskills due to the landowners not wanting to deal with hikers anymore--land that is apparently unused by the landowners throughout most of the year.

      no they are definitely sold after, and intentionally to obscure access to large parts of the national forest.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >convenient
    >easily
    Sounds like you're too lazy to walk a little bit and want to take the shortest path possible. Maybe focus on enjoying PrepHole instead of crying that you can't take shortcuts.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Rich people have an effective monopoly on private land
    The issue is that you're only now realizing this. The entire timber industry is a private/corporate grift because rich people have a monopoly and idiots don't question why we have to never ever allow old growth to recover or why we still build houses like it's 1920.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I find it hard to believe that a section of public land would be legally inaccessible from all sides. I've done a frickload of hiking all over the country and have never seen this anywhere. Can you post a map, location or coordinates OP?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      If you can only park in certain places, and the road ends right before public property begins, you have to park on private property (not allowed), or have someone drop you off, which doesn't really work if you both want to hike
      there's tons of cases like this
      they deliberately set it up to try to prevent access except from a few major common points like campgrounds or state parks.

      the concept of trespassing and private property is moronic
      if this were a niche opinion ok, but there's multiple countries with right-to-roam that don't seem to have problems with it
      we need to differentiate between someone who is abusing your land to disturb you or leave trash, and someone who just wants to hike in a scenic area

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >multiple countries with right-to-roam
        I bet they don't have as many guns as we do.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          look up where thoose laws exist, look up their gun statistics. its basicly usa-light.
          and wtf does guns have to do with it in the first place? i have a legal right of travel through uninhabited land owned by others and can do so armed to the teeth if i want.
          to access ones own land its obviois one have to pass over others land to get there, trying to block this will only bite you back because you depend on the same right to access your land.
          being anti right to roam screams of being a landlet who never owned a sizeable and desolate plot of land.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      It's everywhere on national parks outside of the main visitor centres, like camp grounds and established trails. It's the more remote and out of the way places from the main visitor spots that this problem is worse in. Many parts of national forests are like a maze of public and private tracts. I doubt there's many national forests you could walk the entirety of without trespassing over multiple private properties.

      https://i.imgur.com/Isumz0p.jpeg

      Very observant anon. This has always been a problem but has become worse and worse sense covid whenever rich tourists and investment corps started buying up tons of western land. They are very aware that they are taking over lots of public land and usually the private land is more valuable because of that. There's been a lot of court cases about this especially in Wyoming (the corner crossing debacle), and it the whole process is federally illegal but local legislators/law enforcement don't do much about it. There's some good context here:

      https://wyofile.com/case-history-makes-it-clear-locking-out-the-public-is-illegal/

      In some places, like Arizona, local game and fish departments are pretty good about making agreements with landowners to allow some access, but ime this is more likely with old school local ranchers than the new generation of mostly out of state landowners who mostly want either personal recreational/residential property or an investment. The solution in those cases is pretty simple though, just trespass lol. It's not hard and I'd say they deserve it but it doesn't actually hurt them. They deserve a lot worse.

      Yeah I just trespass.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >I find it hard to believe that a section of public land would be legally inaccessible from all sides.
      depends on if corner crossing is legal or not

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      There will be no legitimate response to this

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I find it hard to believe that a section of public land would be legally inaccessible from all sides. I've done a frickload of hiking all over the country and have never seen this anywhere. Can you post a map, location or coordinates OP?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >Wildlife Management Area
          Recreation isn't the primary purpose of WMAs

          https://i.imgur.com/JFZRcvb.jpeg

          What about checkerboard landownership dont you get? If corner crossing is illegal then its entirely possible

          The chances of getting caught doing this are incredibly slim if you actually cross at the corner. At best you'd be spending a few seconds on private property and it's not like the landowner will be standing there monitoring some random spot in the middle of nowhere.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >The chances of getting caught doing this are incredibly slim
            yes. but thats not the point.
            >legally inaccessible from all sides
            was the criteria

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              https://i.imgur.com/JFZRcvb.jpeg

              What about checkerboard landownership dont you get? If corner crossing is illegal then its entirely possible

              There are no laws that specifically outlaw corner crossing:

              https://www.onxmaps.com/onx-access-initiatives/corner-crossing-report

              Last year, a federal judge in Wyoming ruled that corner crossing does not constitute trespassing:

              https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/natural-resources-energy/2023-06-03/wyoming-judge-sides-with-corner-crossing-hunters-in-trespassing-case

              Show me a jurisdiction where corner crossing is illegal.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >There are no laws that specifically outlaw corner crossing:
                no. and thats the problem. there is no clear cut law one way or another. The wyoming ruling only affects the 10th district which does not apply to MT. In Mt it is techically tresspasssing until otherwise noted.

                https://www.backcountryhunters.org/thinking_about_corner_crossing_in_montana_read_this_first

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        What about checkerboard landownership dont you get? If corner crossing is illegal then its entirely possible

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        How many threads have you posted that exact reply in?

        >I hope the system changes before I die
        homie, America is collapsing in a decade or two.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I find it hard to believe that a section of public land would be legally inaccessible from all sides. I've done a frickload of hiking all over the country and have never seen this anywhere. Can you post a map, location or coordinates OP?

        https://www.trcp.org/unlocking-public-lands/
        This link will show you how much public land is landlocked in each state by private property.

        It's a legitimate problem actually. There are millions of acres of public land in the US that are inaccessible to access legally by land. Just because
        >this problem doesn't personally effect me
        doesn't mean it's not a problem.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Does every acre of public land need to be publicly accessible? What if the purpose of the land is for conservation and restoration instead of recreation?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I guess a better way to phrase the question would be: Does every acre of government-owned land need to be publicly accessible?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            If an acre of public land isn't accessible, then it's only accessible to the property owners that control the access point. Which means, some people are given free public land for their own personal use that no one else can legally use. There are people that can take advantage of this, like if a public lake has no public marinas or docks, then it's inaccessible to anyone that doesn't own property around it. So someone can make a marina on a lake and sell access to a public lake.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              Care to show an example of a public lake with no access points for the general public?

              It would be nice if this website

              https://i.imgur.com/B3FuOPd.png

              [...]
              https://www.trcp.org/unlocking-public-lands/
              This link will show you how much public land is landlocked in each state by private property.

              It's a legitimate problem actually. There are millions of acres of public land in the US that are inaccessible to access legally by land. Just because
              >this problem doesn't personally effect me
              doesn't mean it's not a problem.

              posted a map showing all the "inaccessible" land in the country. All I see are five brief reports containing minor examples of a couple hundred acres being landlocked here and there.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >Care to show an example of a public lake with no access points for the general public?
                its not a lake but there's a state park in maryland outside of cumberland that technically requires you to trespass to access it:
                wills mountain state park
                there's a view at the top, and it seems like you can park in a neighborhood without a problem, but you do technically have to cross through a bit of private land to get to the public land

                https://www.times-news.com/news/local_news/wills-mountain-state-park-might-get-public-access/article_ec9fe1c4-e7b3-11ee-b613-438461519be0.html

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Very observant anon. This has always been a problem but has become worse and worse sense covid whenever rich tourists and investment corps started buying up tons of western land. They are very aware that they are taking over lots of public land and usually the private land is more valuable because of that. There's been a lot of court cases about this especially in Wyoming (the corner crossing debacle), and it the whole process is federally illegal but local legislators/law enforcement don't do much about it. There's some good context here:

    https://wyofile.com/case-history-makes-it-clear-locking-out-the-public-is-illegal/

    In some places, like Arizona, local game and fish departments are pretty good about making agreements with landowners to allow some access, but ime this is more likely with old school local ranchers than the new generation of mostly out of state landowners who mostly want either personal recreational/residential property or an investment. The solution in those cases is pretty simple though, just trespass lol. It's not hard and I'd say they deserve it but it doesn't actually hurt them. They deserve a lot worse.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    it's a huge problem in Colorado, rich buttholes or guide companies buy up the access points, shut them and then sell you exclusive access to the back part of the national forest. The forest people just shrug and go "huh". Literally nobody gives a shit until you try to drive past the private drive ranch gate or step onto their private property.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Sounds like an east coast thing. my local national forests are so damn big with so many access points that that is never really an issue. We have some checkerboard sections but it looks like corner crossing will win. Some big landowners provide public easements thru their land to access the NF

    Where are you refering to specifically?

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Sounds like the Black Hills, went over there and noticed a large amount of gates blocking the FS access roads

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >large amount of gates blocking the FS access roads
      Lots FS roads have gates that are seasonally locked. You can still access the land you just cant drive

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        They were private gates with signs saying things "no trespassing", without the normal FS signage, but according to maps the public land was further down the road.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Then it wasnt a forest service road. name specific location

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    8.3 million acres, or half of western public land are corner locked by private property. This is just when public land is checkerboarded by private property. There's many other different ways access to public land can be blocked than just by checkerboarding.

    A very vast amount of land, of public land, is blocked from public use by private property. The people that made this happen know what they're doing.

    There's no legitimate reason a national forest should be blocked from public use, and people that buy private tracts of land in national parks that the public has a right to use the land but that's not the case in most of America.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >The people that made this happen know what they're doing.
      >policy from the 1800s
      https://www.onxmaps.com/onx-access-initiatives/corner-crossing-report

      >There's no legitimate reason a national forest should be blocked from public use
      Nor is there any national forest blocked from public use. specific access points and checkerboards are not the entire national forest.

      >people that buy private tracts of land in national parks
      Where does this happen?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >Nor is there any national forest blocked from public use.
        when you have a trail that starts on private land, yeah id say that's intentionally blocked if you can only access it from one side

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >when you have a trail that starts on private land
          Why would the trail start on private land? that makes no sense. Show me where an official NF trail starts on private land.

          either way the entire NF is not blocked from use dont be moronic

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            because you cannot park on public land anywhere near that end of the trail, so you cannot functionally access it without trespassing, that is by design
            also some trails that are abandoned straight up do pass through private land briefly at the very end, or skirt it

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              Where? what trail? Either it "starts" on private land or it doesnt. Should be easy to show us.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                keep in mind its an abandoned, former trail, one entrance is an intersection with another trail (that barely still exists), and one is a ford where I think its like before crossing the creek you are on private land, then after crossing you are on public land, but its next to someone's house I think, there IS parking nearby-ish for a separate also abandoned trail, but I believe it would theoretically necessarily entail trespassing to access

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Is there any place in the national forest where you could park and then bushwhack to the trail without stepping onto private land? Without you providing a map or location info, we're just left to guess.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                you seem to squirm much more if I don't provide specific details and I'm not sure if I want to at this point
                also, it's been a while since I've thought about or looked at a map for this trail
                its kinda cool because it parallels a very remote high elevation run, but almost all of those trails get abandoned if they aren't in a wilderness (which is really getting abandoned anyways, just not officially)
                and they aren't popular cuz there's no BIG waterfalls or views

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                You're squirming because you know that if you posted the specific location, I would be able to find a legal place to park in the national forest and a legal way to access your mysterious trail.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                No, you can access it from the upper point, but then its like 3-4 miles of walking just to get to where the trail even starts.

                There's tons and tons of abandoned trails along creeks in the national forest where there used to be railroads or skid roads for logging, then they turned that into a hiking trail, then they abandoned it outright, generally in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and the trails often still exist on the topo maps, but access is not always possible from both ends
                im saying thats deliberate if these trails aren't popular anyways the local landowners don't want people parking there

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >but then its like 3-4 miles of walking just to get to where the trail even starts
                So?

                Besides, I'm sure there's a more convenient place to park in the national forest, that I would be able to find if I knew exactly where you were talking about.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >So?
                then that adds 7 miles to the hike lol and I'm not looking to hike that far or long
                just want 2-3 miles along cozy high elevation creek and many of those trails have access issues

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                mike run trail, 156, its just a cool looking trail that largely trails a high mountain creek
                but it looks like you would have to ford horseshoe run on foot to access the downstream trailhead, and to park near there, I don't think there's any public land with a pullout, to be clear I need to check irl, there could be, but I don't think there is, and from the map it looks like you couldn't, you can park about a mile up the road near maxwell run where the parking for that abandoned trail has been conserved, albeit unsigned, but that adds 2 mi at least to the hike
                I get it, there's a creek right nearby Losh Trail, that has an extant trail but that leaves the creek pretty quickly, whereas the Mike Run trail snakes slowly up the hillside following the creek which is kinda a neat idea, my understanding is these trails were maybe built in the 1980s by a young adult conservation corps and then basically abandoned after that, they may have been using remnants of logging roads to base the trail on, but hard to know

                and anyways it seems like the first part of the hike to connect with mike run trail involves some form of trespassing regardless to access it

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Realistically, your best legal option looks to be hiking the Losh Trail to those "930" closed roads shown on the MNF website. 930-B ends right above Mike Run.
                >North Trailhead: 39.208519, -79.624401
                >Horseshoe Camp: 39.17809, -79.60207

                Alternatively, driving into the national forest on Dry Run ("927" starting at 39.200720, -79.651950) might work as long as that forest road doesn't turn into a dodgy 4WD route. It's tough to tell from satellite imagery. The Blackwater WMA map shows a hunter's parking area on that road (picrel). You would just have to be comfortable descending a steep slope to get down to Mike Run. That kind of off-trail navigation is routine for me, but might be difficult for your average hiker. YMMV.

                Bottom line: If there's a will, there's a way. I wouldn't count this as an example of restricted access because I found multiple options in a matter of minutes.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                my whole point is the losh trail barely runs along a creek
                the mike run trail is along a creek for a long time, but the lower trailhead is (probably) inaccessible, there's other cases like this in the area (granted all with formally abandoned trails), mcgee run, north fork deer creek trail, haddix run trail 126 is the same, it starts at someone's house and the road ends right before it turns into public property, and all im saying is that's deliberate, generally people who live near old logging roads turned into trails don't want the public accessing them and the forest service doesn't care either

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                And my point is that you can use the Losh Trail to access the forest roads that lead right down to Mike Run. This would be an easy hike for me with zero access issues whatsoever.

                >Care to show an example of a public lake with no access points for the general public?
                its not a lake but there's a state park in maryland outside of cumberland that technically requires you to trespass to access it:
                wills mountain state park
                there's a view at the top, and it seems like you can park in a neighborhood without a problem, but you do technically have to cross through a bit of private land to get to the public land

                https://www.times-news.com/news/local_news/wills-mountain-state-park-might-get-public-access/article_ec9fe1c4-e7b3-11ee-b613-438461519be0.html

                Why does this Times-News photo omit Wills Mountain Road leading into the state park?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I'm not OP, but here is an example that I encountered.

            This one in Inyo NF, the owners do grant access though. Even more confusing is the adjacent trail, pine creek trail you must walk through about 25 feet of stables/buildings. But the pine creek trail is clearly all Inyo FS property. The gable lakes trail according to the map starts entirely on private property but looks like a typical trailhead parking lot.

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    Amount of landlocked public land in acres by state

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >home state is in the top three

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      half of Montana's is state land. didnt expect that

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      He deleted his post.

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