Wayne National Forest - Athens District
The Wayne is Ohio's only national forest. It is located exclusively within the area of the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau, in southeastern Ohio. It is organized into three purchase units. The Athens District has its greatest extents in Athens and Hocking Counties, and the Wayne NF Headquarters are in Athens County.
The Wayne was established, as were many of the eastern US national forests, to buy up marginal, worn out farmland and other "worthless" lands to restore them to forest and thus productive use. Most maps show only the purchase units designated by Congress, but these, in the case of eastern states, generally include large amounts of private land. These mapped areas only show the area in which the National Forest Service is allowed to purchase land. This page shows both the purchase areas in lilac and the actual land ownership in red. Other public lands in shades of green and blue are also shown.