When John Muir spoke of the unbridled beauty of America’s wilderness, he remarked that “the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” Touched with the divine kind of wisdom one discovers in the Great Outdoors, Muir was indeed correct: there is nothing more wonderful than time spent basking in the wilds of Mother Nature, and there are many, many places in the U.S. where one can do just that. Today we’re taking Muir’s advice and going on a journey of discovery in America’s most incredible national forests, and we hope you’ll be inspired to go forth and explore these natural oases, too.

National Forests In The Northeast U.S.

The northeastern US is a beautiful area filled with historical significance. As the entry point for Europeans exploring the “New World,” the East Coast was a rich landscape of deep forests. Much of those wonderful forests have been preserved thanks to our national forests.

National Forests In The Southeast U.S.

The Carolinas and the Virginias are well known for vibrant fall colors and rich forests. With well-known mountain ranges like the Great Smokey Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Range, this area has some of the best national forests in the U.S.

National Forests In The Midwest U.S.

The Midwest misses out a bit on the mountain front, but the dense forests and the beautiful Great Lakes make up for it. The national forests in this region are as diverse as they are beautiful.

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National Forests In The Southwest U.S.

As we travel to the Southwest we get away from your typical lush forests usually associated with a national forest. But the canyons, gorges, buttes, and desert landscape is just as beautiful as its more lush counterparts.

National Forests In The Northwest U.S.

With regal redwood forests, incredible waterfalls, and snow-covered mountains to explore, this region is breathtaking. And the national forests in this part of the US are some of the best in the nation.

When was the last time you immersed yourself in the wondrous wilds of America’s national forests? It truly is a soul-filling, humbling, immensely comforting experience worth seeking out.

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More to Explore

Our treasured U.S. National Forests

What are National Forests in the United States?

National forests in the United States are protected and managed lands typically comprised of old-growth forests, woodland, and mountainous areas, but also canyons, gullies, gulches, and buttes. They were created with a dual purpose of protection as well as multi-use recreational areas. The national forest system was created in 1891 after President Benjamin Harrison signed the Land Revision Act.

How many National Forests are there in the United States?

There are 154 national forests in the United States, as well as an additional 20 national grasslands that are protected by the national forest system. Nearly 200 million acres have been designated as national forest land.

What activities can I do in National Forests?

The kinds of activities one can do in national forests are quite vast. Hiking, mountain biking, swimming, climbing, hunting, fishing, camping, horseback riding, birdwatching, off-roading - the list is pretty much endless. Of course, we can't forget winter activities; skiing, ice-climbing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, and snowmobiling are only a few of the winter sports you can enjoy in a national forest. If you enjoy the outdoors there is an activity for you in any of our beautiful national forests.