Forest Highway

Forest Highway

State Highway System
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Forest Highway

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Forest Highways or Forest Routes are a category of roads within United States National Forests. They are built to connect the national forests to the existing state highway systems, and to provide improved access to recreational and logging areas.


Forest highways are designated by the United States Forest Service and funded by the federal government, but are generally owned and maintained by the state or counties in which they are located. The forest highway system comprises approximately 29,000 miles (47,000 km) of roads.


Forest highways are maintained for all traffic and weather conditions, and are often (but not always) paved. They are usually marked with shields of the style shown at right, except for those that coincide with existing signed state or U.S. highways.

Secondary forest roads

Secondary forest roads, which vary in quality from paved roads to dirt tracks only accessible using all-terrain vehicles, are owned by the Forest Service and are not part of the forest highway system.


In the 1920s, forest highway was a class of federal aid, and could be used outside forests, as long as the projects improved access to the forests.


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