Sathyamangalam is also the name of a Reserve Forest under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1973. It is contiguous with the Biligirirangan Temple Wildlife Sanctuary to the north in neighbouring Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka, and together forms a vital corridor for faunal movements, mainly elephants. The Sathyamangalam forest is tropical dry forest, part of the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests ecoregion. It includes thorn forest, dry deciduous forest, and tropical hill forest. Many of the higher elevations of the Bilgirirangan range have shola, or dwarf moist deciduous forest, and montane grassland habitats. These forests also harbour indigenous tribal people belonging largely to the Mullu Kurubas, Soliga communities. Southwards, the heights decrease into the arid Coimbatore plains before rising again into the Nilgiris and Anamalais.
The forests are home to Asian Elephants, and the herd that ranges between the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats through the Sathyamangalam forests numbers 6000 animals, the largest herd in India. Elephant movements in this corridor were the subject of one of the first studies on the Asian Elephant by the Indian elephant scientist R. Sukumar in early 1980s. The Sathyamangalam elephants were also the subject of Indian elephant expert Vivek Menon's book Tusker - The Story of the Asian Elephant.
The forests were also the home of the legendary Indian bandit Koose Muniswamy Veerapan, who made a living exploiting ivory and sandalwood from the forests and selling them on the black market. Veerapan was killed by police in October 2004.
A major National highway connecting Coimbatore to Bangalore via Sathyamangalam passes through the forests. This route is best for vehicles from Coimbatore bound for Bangalore as it has lesser traffic when compared to NH 47 (Coimbatore - Salem Road). But one must be sure about the driving skills required for a hilly terain because it has got 27 hairpin bends and some of which are really dangerous.
Sathyamanglam has over 40 doctors