Recreation & Education

Bladen Lakes State Forest offers recreational activities for all types of people wanting to enjoy the great outdoors.

Primitive Camping

BLSF is home to Camp Chamblee, a primitive camping area. Numerous campers enjoy the peaceful and quiet camping in the forest each year. There is an available fire pit and portalet for campers. A Special Use Permit is required free of charge and can be obtained bycontacting our officeMonday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

To get a Special Use Permit (SUP) for camping, forest staff requires the following information. Please be prepared to provide it when requesting a SUP for camping.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • On-site emergency contact name
  • On-site Emergency number
  • Email address
  • Dates and length of stay
  • Number of people (and pets if applicable – note that pets must be kept on a leash at all times)
  • Vehicle info (year, color, make and model)


During the respective hunting seasons, the public is welcome to use designated areas of BLSF to hunt deer, bear, wild turkey, fox, and rabbit as well as several species of waterfowl. Hunting licenses are issued by a permit agent of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Hunting days (in season) are Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and official holidays (gameland map BLSF). The Singletary tract is "still hunting" only. For more information refer to the N.C. Fishing and Hunting Regulations Digest.

Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding

Bladen Lakes State Forest has over 130 miles of forest roads and 30 miles of public roads. These roads are available to the public for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Turnbull Creek Educational State Forest is adjacent to BLSF. While Turnbull Creek has public hiking trails throughout the forest, horseback riding is not allowed.


Since BLSF is such a large and undeveloped forest, there is little light pollution that reaches this area. This makes BLSF an ideal spot to gaze up at the stars and take in the night sky. A Special Use Permit is required free of charge and can be obtained by contacting our officeMonday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m..


With an array of native birds, including the endangered Red-Cockaded woodpecker, BLSF is a perfect place to watch and listen for a variety of bird species.

Research, Education & Training

The forest is continually cooperating with universities, students and other different agencies with assistance in research. Educational tours are given by the forest staff to University forestry or environmental science students in the management of the forest. Different public and private agencies, including universities and the military are using the forest for many different kinds of training.