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Travelers from all over the United States are inclined to tour the natural public lands that draws them closer to the nature. The National Forest System are the most breathtaking and functional natural spaces that also focus on conservation of natural resources and maintain a healthy ecosystem for both humans and animals. Alongside providing recreational services, but also vast mineral resources, grazing areas, and of course lumber. They capture the carbon, protect the endangered wildlife, produce clean drinking water, and give scientists a controlled environment to perform research.
With more than 150 national forests in the United States, the National Forest System maintains hundreds of millions of acres of natural forest land. Right from mighty redwoods in California to the wide lake network of Minnesota, the ever-pristine stretches of wilderness attract the visitors with first-class hiking, biking, camping and canoeing, while also safe-guarding and housing millions of endangered species such as hawks, wolves and raptors. Here are the 10 awe-inspiring national forests of United States that'll motivate you to step outside and adore nature:
Perched within the alpine White Mountains between the states of New Hampshire and Maine, the vast White Mountain National Forest encompasses more than 148,000 acres of wilderness. This forest is famed especially for its vast water resources, comprising of 12,000 acres of wetlands, more than 4,000 miles of streams, almost 67 lakes, and 35 watersheds. The White Mountain National Forest houses almost the entirety of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States, and encompasses almost 200 species of birds, including the rare Bicknell’s thrush.
Tucked along the U.S.-Canada border, Superior National Forest is famed for its boreal forest ecosystem (a subarctic climate in the Northern Hemisphere) and its clean lakes as nearly 695 square miles of the forest are surface water. Located on the edge of Lake Superior, in middle of the Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region this national forest made the headlines when The Nature Conservancy purchased more than 2,000 acres of private land to save it from development. Spreading across 3 million acres in total, there are some important animals who've called this forest home, including black bears and gray wolves.
Flanked between the Great Basin and the Colorado River, Dixie National Forest in the state of Utah spreads to more than 2 million acres and is the largest national forest of the state. With altitudes stretching from 2,800 feet to 11,322 feet, this amazing forest has plethora of climates with summer temperatures reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit and -30 degrees Fahrenheit on the mountain plateaus. Located in southern Utah, history buffs visit to check out the pictographs, petroglyphs, and prehistoric dwellings inside the boundaries of the forest, even the artifacts are studied and preserved by the Dixie National Forest Heritage Program.
Located in southern Washington, Gifford Pinchot National Forest is famed for being one of the country’s oldest national forests and being named after Gifford Pinchot, who served as the first head of the United States Forest Service. Its range comprises of nearly 1.3 million acres of mountains, deep valleys, rivers, waterfalls, and the most renowned, the volcanoes. Mount St. Helens, The National Forest has Mount St. Helens which had the most recent volcanic eruption in the year 1980. Hikers love to frequent the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument designated by President Ronald Reagan.
Famed to be the largest national forest in the U.S. and in fact the largest intact temperate rainforest on Earth, Tongass National Forest is home to an astonishingly diverse array of rare plants and animals. This colossal national forest covers nearly 16.7 million acres in southeast Alaska, including the glacial inside passage. The land here has been abode to the native Alaskans for more than 10,000 years and is currently inhabited by about 70,000 people of 32 communities. The wildlife comprising of Salmon, bears, wolves, eagles, and whales are commonly seen in the area.
Popular for having a rocky landscape, the Coconino National Forest in Arizona has been spread across 1.8-million-acre area. The cinder cones area of the national forest provides the perfect setting for training astronauts for moon landing. If you thought Coconino is all about red rocks and desert, think again there are also fragrant pine woodlands and even areas of heavy snowfall, which make it amongst the country’s most diverse national forests. This huge national forest encompasses a vast majority of the San Francisco Peaks and the famous Mogollon Rim, a 1,000-foot cliff running across central Arizona.
This is indeed California's most popular natural recreational destinations, Sierra National Forest has over one thousand miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, or backpacking—both well-maintained and rugged—outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of options when it comes to exciting activities to enjoy. The ever-so-popular national forest is bordered by the Yosemite National Park to the northwest and Kings Canyon National Park to the south. Off late, Sierra National Forest has been facing challenges from the western pine beetle which contributed to the death of 8 million trees between 2011 and 2015.
Acclaimed to be the United States’ most southernmost forest, Ocala National Forest is the country's most unique national forest. Perched in between the Ocklawaha and the St. Johns rivers, Ocala spreads to more than 387,000 acres of land in north central Florida and protects the world’s largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest. This national forest has nearly 600 rivers, lakes, and springs, including the famous Juniper Springs, Salt Springs, Alexander Springs and Silver Glen Springs, which naturally remains at amazing 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Travelers when here are enjoying snorkeling or canoeing in the clear spring waters, as well as bird watching, camping, fishing, bicycling, horseback riding, hiking, and four-wheeling.
History has seen it, power of people led to the formation of nature haven and started out as a series of land purchases from coal and timber companies across 21 counties in Kentucky. Earlier known as the Cumberland National Forest, since it traced back to the Duke of Cumberland but President Lyndon B. Johnson changed the name to Daniel Boone National Forest in 1966, after the famous outdoorsman and Kentucky pioneer. Visitors love to explore the nearly 708,000 acres of forest land with a range of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, boating and horse riding.
It's the largest of Arizona’s six national forests and also the seventh largest in the country, Tonto National Forest spreads through 2.9 million acres near Phoenix. The exotic landscapes range from beachy lakesides to stone canyons, and range in altitude stretches from 1,300 to 7,900 feet, which helps attract 3 million visitors per year. An honest reflection of the American national forest system, Tonto comprises of six reservoirs, abodes 21 threatened and endangered species, grazes 26,000 head of cattle, harvests 4 million board feet of timber annually, and has a history of mineral mining going back 150 years.
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