Top 10 Most Popular and Beautiful Forests in America
Top 10 Most Popular and Beautiful Forests in America

Every outdoor enthusiast has a favorite state or national park, but when it comes to natural public lands, national forests are some of the most beautiful and useful places in the nation. The 155 national forests that make up the United States are all overseen by the Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service. National forests place more emphasis on resource preservation while keeping a healthy ecosystem for both people and wildlife, in contrast to national parks, which are designated primarily for the conservation of pristine natural areas and landmarks.

These isolated areas of land are the most steadfast guardians of the local populations, wildlife, and scenery. Here are ten of the top national parks in the United States, ranging from the highest peaks to the deepest fjords (in no particular order).

From the massive redwoods of California to the extensive network of lakes in Minnesota, these unspoiled wilderness areas, the majority of which cover millions of acres, attract tourists with world-class hiking, biking, camping, and canoeing while also preserving and rehabilitating thousands of endangered species like wolves, hawks, and raptors. Large expanses of land serve as guardians for populations, ecosystems, and species that have existed for far longer than the United States has. The next time you consider taking a trip, we advise you to explore all that the United States has to offer, including these breathtaking national forests.

What Are The Most Popular and Beautiful Forest in America?

(Top 10 - Ranked by

1. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Photo: blueridgemountainlife
Pisgah National Forest

Because of its widespread acclaim, the national monument in Asheville, North Carolina, was recently named "America's Most Popular National Forest" by Musement. Additionally, Pisgah is big enough that, despite being the most Instagrammed forest in the nation, its fame won't interfere with your ability to commune with nature.

The more than 500,000 acres of the national forest are filled with attractions and things to do. To reach mountain peaks more than a mile high, visitors to Pisgah can hike one of the many trails leading there, or they can hike around the forest's numerous waterfalls.

The waterfalls are what make Pisgah a particularly popular vacation spot in the sweltering summer months. Make sure to take a dip in one of the natural pools Pisgah's cascades have created. Even when temperatures soar, the forest's natural water features are renowned for staying incredibly cool.

The 60-foot natural waterslide "Sliding Rock," which locals refer to as "the original Slip 'n' Slide," is another attraction that attracts lots of tourists. Although it costs nothing to enter the forest, sliding down Sliding Rock between Memorial Day and Labor Day costs $1 per person. Since it is a very popular attraction, try to go early in the morning or during the week to avoid the crowds.

The forest was established in 1916 after being acquired from the Vanderbilt family, and it has since gained notoriety for being the site of the country's first forestry school, which is commemorated at the Cradle of Forestry in America historical site.

2. Angeles National Forest, California

Photo: latimes
Photo: latimes

More than 20 million residents of the Greater Los Angeles area reside within an hour's drive of the Angeles National Forest, which offers a variety of recreational opportunities.

The massive metropolitan area of Los Angeles' backyard playground is the over 650,000-acre Angeles National Forest. In order to supply Southern California with essential water and to safeguard nearby communities from devasting floods, the Angeles National Forest manages the watersheds that are located within its borders.

The Forest's land is as varied in appearance and terrain as it is in the recreational opportunities it offers. There are elevations between 1,200 and 10,064 feet. When you get to the majestic peaks of the higher elevations, the slopes change from being heavily covered in dense chaparral to being covered in slopes of pine and fir.

The San Gabriel Wilderness Area, which covers more than 36,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest, has been set aside to protect its wilderness-like qualities. The region's terrain is very rough, with elevations ranging from 1,600 to 8,200 feet.

3. Hoosier National Forest, Indiana

Photo: visitbloomington
Photo: visitbloomington

With only 204,000 acres, the Hoosier National Forest is a small but stunning gem of south-central Indiana. Hickory, oak, walnut, and hemlock trees cover the forest's rolling hills, ridges, and valleys, which span nine counties. Deep within the forest, however, are dramatic caves and caverns. In the charming forest, where woodchucks, white-tailed deer, foxes, and opossums have been seen roaming, are scenic trails.

A variety of wildlife habitats are made possible by the combination of open space and forest. There are a few wildlife viewing areas in the forest. White-tailed deer, fox, woodchuck, opossum, and gray squirrel are examples of common mammals. The turkey, pileated woodpecker, a number of migrant songbirds from the Neotropics, and migratory waterfowl are common birds of interest. Numerous unusual cave species can be found in the karst ecosystems.

The Hoosier National Forest may be home to five species that are listed as threatened or endangered by the federal government. These species are Indiana bat, gray bat, bald eagle, rough pigtoe and fan shell mussels.

By their very nature, cave environments offer a distinctive ecological system. One of the most well-known karst regions in the country is in Indiana. The State's karst features have been the subject of well over 100 studies, many of which were conducted near the Forest.

Top 20 Best & Most-Visited U.S National Parks For Upcoming Trips

4. Coconino National Forest, Arizona

Photo: nhonews
Photo: nhonews

Your mind might conjure up pictures of saguaro cacti and the desert when you think of Arizona. Additionally, you might envision miles of mountains covered in evergreens when you think of "national forests". Both of these expectations are partially disproved by the landscape of the Coconino National Forest, which features everything from stunning red rock formations to alpine tundra. Elk, javelinas, black bears, rattlesnakes, and other animals are among the diverse wildlife found in the area. Unsurprisingly, outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping are very popular in the Coconino National Forest.

The Elden Pueblo archaeological site, which is situated atop the remains of a long-gone Sinagua village, is another distinctive aspect of the Coconino National Forest. Elden Pueblo's finds are thought to have come from as far away as Mexico and California, indicating the presence of a significant trade hub nearby.

5. Inyo National Forest, California and Nevada

Photo: getawaycouple
Photo: getawaycouple

Inyo National Forest, which is found in California's stunning Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, is home to strenuous trails, lofty mountain peaks, and breathtaking vistas. A number of our trails provide access to the John Muir Trail or Pacific Crest Trail, giving hikers the chance to travel through the longest stretch of Sierra Nevada Mountain Range devoid of roads. Our trails provide opportunities for hiking, photography, peak-bagging, fishing, and simply taking in the High Sierra's unspoiled beauty. There are numerous ways to make an experience memorable, whether you're looking for seclusion, breathtaking scenery, or to go on an adventure together in the wilderness.

Come, breathe in the crisp mountain air. Don your pack, and start walking the trail. Visit the outdoors and allow nature to renew your spirit. The Ansel Adams, John Muir, Golden Trout, Hoover, and South Sierra wildernesses are among the places to explore. Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks' wilderness areas are all accessible from trips that start on the Inyo National Forest.

Keep in mind that we need to take care of this wonderful place as you make travel arrangements. Respect the wildlife, the woods, and the water while you are here. Move carefully across the land. Keep in mind to leave this area undamaged so that it can remain the wilderness that we seek.

6. Shawnee National Forest, Illinois

Photo: stlmag
Photo: stlmag

The Shawnee National Forest, which spans just under 300,000 acres in Southern Illinois, is tucked between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

The forest is made up of a variety of distinct ecological zones, such as wetlands, hardwood forests, deep canyons, and rocky bluffs.

Cedar Lake, located in the Shawnee National Forest, offers boating, fishing, kayaking, and other water sports. The Little Grand Canyon, which has a 3-mile trail at the base of the 300-foot bluffs, is also located there.

There is a lot packed into this relatively small national forest, including 7 wilderness areas, 2 scenic drives, and historical markers for the Native American Trail of Tears and the Underground Railroad.

7. Sequoia National Forest, California

Photo: visitvisalia
Photo: visitvisalia

The Sequoia National Forest in southern California is named after its most beloved inhabitants and is arguably the most famous woodland in the nation. The forest, which spans more than 1.1 million acres, is home to the giant sequoia, the largest tree in the world, and has the highest concentration of these leafy giants anywhere. Granite monoliths, glacier-carved canyons, raging whitewater rapids, and picturesque lakes are just a few of Sequoia's breathtaking natural wonders. Its landscape is just as impressive as its woodland.

The Giant Forest, located in the center of Sequoia National Park, is home to half of the tallest and oldest trees in the world. Here, there are more than 8,000 enormous sequoia trees, including the General Sherman Tree, which has the largest volume in the entire world. General Sherman, the prize of Sequoia National Park, is the world's largest living thing at the ripe old age of 2,100 years and weighs about 2.7 million pounds (he is 275 feet tall).

Top 10 Most Beautiful & Popular National Parks in the US

8. San Bernardino National Forest, California

Photo: treehuggersintl
Photo: treehuggersintl

More than a century ago, the untamed areas of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountain Ranges were designated as National Forests.

The president was given the power to "set apart and reserve, in any state or territory, having public land bearing forests... as public reservations" under the Forest Reserve Act, which was passed in 1891. The San Bernardino Forest Reserve, which later evolved into the San Bernardino National Forest in 1907, was created as a result of this act. For the preservation of natural resources like trees, water, minerals, livestock range, recreation, and wildlife, the San Bernardino National Forest was designated as public land.

The San Bernardino National Forest now offers year-round outdoor recreation in southern California as well as important watershed protection. Discover your local National Forest by taking a scenic drive along the Rim of the World Scenic Byway or the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway.

The hiking trails in the San Bernardino National Forest are among the best in the world. The highest mountains in Southern California, backcountry hiking and camping opportunities, and the border between the desert and the coast are all present. There are trails for every level of hiker here; it's not just for mountain hikes. Even better, you can take a hike that includes a tram ride to reach the mountains without exerting much effort. When you go on these hikes, remember to leave your parks to pass on your dashboard.

9. Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Photo: nature
Photo: nature

The Superior National Forest in Minnesota has 3 million acres of water and land, including nearly 700 square miles of lakes and more than 2,000 miles of freshwater streams.

It goes without saying that it is well known for its aquatic recreation options.

Anglers target walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, as well as lake trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout in the water.

Black Bears, Deer, Moose, and between 300 and 400 Gray Wolves live in the forest, which has evergreen trees like spruce, pine, and fir all over the place.

A third of the forest is contained within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, where visitors can take advantage of 1500 miles of canoe routes, over 1000 lakes, and streams.

10. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire and Maine

Photo: tripsavvy
Photo: tripsavvy

Over 1,200 miles of non-motorized trails can be found in the White Mountain National Forest in the Northeast, which is great for hikers. These trails extend from eastern New Hampshire into western Maine and range in difficulty from short strolls to strenuous climbs. Expect to see wildlife, mountain streams, and lakes for your year-round recreation. Historic sites like Prickett Place and Russell-Colbath House are popular destinations in the forest. Another well-liked destination is the Kancamagus Scenic Byway during the vibrant fall foliage season. Mt. Chocorua, Evan's Notch, and Mt. Hedgehog are three popular hikes.

White Mountain National Forest, a region of more than 800,000 acres that stretches through New Hampshire and into Maine, was cleared for lumber in the late 1800s but has since made an impressive recovery.

The WMNF, which is situated along the Appalachian Trail, is well-known for hiking and scenic drives to view the vibrant fall foliage.

The forest offers a wide range of recreational opportunities, such as snowshoeing, skiing, fishing, biking, hiking, hunting, swimming, and canoe trips. There are 23 different campgrounds and more than 1200 miles of trails in this area.

The White Mountain National Forest is a fantastic location for wildlife as well. Black bears, deer, and moose are frequent visitors, and some of the cliffs are home to peregrine falcons, the fastest bird in the world.

Forest Resources In The US

Although the amount of land covered by forests in the country is stable, their makeup and distribution are evolving. The USDA Forest Service's just-released report, Forest Resources of the United States, 2017, contains data from the program's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) that support this claim as well as other details on the status, condition, and trends of the country's forest resources. The report is an addendum to the 2020 Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment, which is due in 2020 and is required by Congress every ten years.

According to the report, the size of the U.S. forest, which includes both forested areas and the small woody plants that grow in arid areas, has reached a plateau at 822.5 million acres. 19% of the country's forests are national forests under the management of the USDA Forest Service. With the majority of tree stands being older than 60 years, these forests are aging. With the exception of the Rocky Mountain region, which has seen a decline because of wildfires, drought, and pine beetle infestation, the volume of trees on national forest lands has consistently increased over the past ten years. The biggest threats to the nation's forests and woodlands are wildfires, insects, and diseases. The country's expanding road network makes it easier for more people to access the resources and advantages that forests offer, but it also leads to increased fragmentation of the forest, which can have an adverse effect on the health of the forest.

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