Forest service cabins were originally developed by the Forest Service to increase the public use of Federal Land. The Forest Service gave private individuals permits to build on the land, starting in roughly 1900. Although the term “Forest Service cabin” leads people to believe these cabins were once used as housing for the Forest Service, it is not accurate. They were all built by people wanting to get out and explore the area, and they tend to be located in some of the best areas, along rivers, lakes and buried back in the forest. When you buy a Forest Service cabin, it is not the same as buying a regular cabin or property. You lease the land, typically a 20 year lease and the cabin is considered personal property. You are required to keep up the cabin per the requirements of the special use permit needing approval for most improvements done. The upside of this ownership type is that you get a great “cabin” feel in (typically) a stunning setting for less than half the price of a “normal” cabin. The downside is that you have to pay cash, many of the cabins are not on plowed roads making many of them inaccessible and over half have the water is turned off for the winter, in addition to the requirements of the special use permit.