The city owns a 5,400-acre forested watershed (City Forest) that is located just north of the city proper (surrounding Lake Sylvia State Park); it is owned jointly by the city’s water fund and the city’s general fund. The City’s Forestry Department manages the City Forest for a mix of objectives: the primary goal being the optimization of forest revenue in a manner that is consistent with the maintenance of recreational opportunities and the good stewardship of fish and wildlife habitats. Maintaining both a healthy environment and long-term economic sustainability are foundational to every management decision.
The forest’s economic benefits include an average timber harvest revenue of one million dollars. The recreational benefits of our forest include over 20 miles of trails (non-motorized). The city forest roads are gated, but hikers and mountain bikers may access the city forest via the interconnected trail system that stems out from the trail-heads at Lake Sylvia State Park. Recreational users may access the trails without prior permission; please click on this link to find downloadable maps, historical information, our forest management and trails management plans, and links to helpful forestry organizations.