Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join the NFH
Sign In

Latest News
The Cabin Program



What is the Cabin Program?

Often referred to as the "cabin program", the U.S. Forest Service Recreation Residence Program (RRP) is a unique "Cabin in the Woods" program established by Congress in 1915 to facilitate family recreation experiences on our National Forests. A cabin and its improvements are the personal property of the owner who pays an annual fee for the use of the National Forest land the cabin sits on.  Renewable Special Uses Permits are issued for 20 years at a time and come with a number of restrictions and obligations for the use of the land.  A two-page Recreation Residence Program Overview is mandatory reading for anyone considering the purchase of a cabin.

Currently, there are nearly 14,000 cabins in the program. Cabin lots are typically grouped into cabin tracts by the Forest Service. Over 800 cabin tracts are located on 114 National Forests in 24 States, plus Puerto Rico.  Over 160 local cabin associations have been formed by cabin owners, which are typically made up of one or more cabin tracts.  Local cabin associations provide a way for cabin owners to share resources in forest settings.  See the Cabin Association Directory for a listing of cabin associations by region.

Click here to access the USFS Recreation Residence website.

Cabin Program Documents

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Cabin Program History PDF (450.21 KB) Administration 8/27/2019
Organic Administration Act of 1897 PDF (1.89 MB) Administration 4/16/2017
Recreation Residence Compliance Manual PDF (400.14 KB)  more ] Administration 9/1/2019
Recreation Residence Program Overview PDF (489.26 KB) Administration 3/5/2017
Sample Special Uses Permit PDF (426.76 KB) Administration 4/22/2016
Term Occupancy Act of 1915 PDF (546.6 KB) Administration 4/16/2017
USFS Guide to Maintaining Historic Cabin PDF (7.8 MB) Administration 4/22/2016