Ever heard of a government lease cabin? Did you know the technical term is actually recreation residence? Knowing that, do you know what a recreation residence is? Still no? No problem. We’ve got you covered.

Recreation Residences are cabins located on National Forests. They are located all across the country. Individual citizens own the actual cabins. The American public owns the land on which the cabins are situated. The owners of these uniquely placed cabins receive a “Special Use Permit” to occupy forest land. These permits are effective for up to a 20-year period.

Like with most of the subjects blogged about on this site, there are several myths surrounding these kinds of cabins. Often times you will hear people refer to recreation residences as “Government Lease Cabins.” This is a misnomer more than anything. As stated, they do not operate under a lease, but rather a “Special Use Permit.” Another weird myth about recreation residences is that they were issued a “Ninety-nine Year Lease.” To the best of our knowledge, evidence has NEVER surfaced that a cabin was ever issued a permit for this ridiculous length of time. However, this term has been used to refer to the open-ended, one-year permits that were in existence prior to 1915. Today, cabins are issued a permit for up to twenty years at a time with the option to renew at the end of that period.

It is worth noting that these cabins are not available to rent by the public. Recreation residences are privately owned. In fact, their special use permits prevent them from being rented except with prior approval. So if you’ve got your eye on a “government lease cabin” that you’ve been wanting to rent, you might want to consider a rental lodge instead.