The Most Beautiful Old Growth Forests in America

National forests in America are among the most beautiful and valuable natural public areas, and every outdoor enthusiast has a favorite national or state park. The United States Forest Service, part of the Agriculture Department, is responsible for all 155 national forests in the country.

The United States of America holds a huge green treasure covering roughly 36.21% of the U.S. territory. About one-third of the USA is covered with forest, with nearly one billion acres of land covered with trees. With this wealth of vegetation, it is not surprising that there are different classifications of forest types in the U.S. In this article, we’ll look at the forests in America.

The Adirondack New York

Types of Forests in America

Tropical Forests

Tropical rainforests are forests with a high canopy that flourish on wet soil in the Tropics of Cancer or Capricorn. The fauna includes endemic fungi, birds, snails, mosses, and wildlife. On the other hand, the flora consists of canopies of acacia, lehua, and other native plants.

The tropical forests in America are mostly found in the State of Florida. However, there are also in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The term tropical forests indicate that these woods are near the tropics and hence rich in vegetation that requires warm weather and is home to a diverse range of flora and wildlife.

Temperate Forests

Temperate forests are cherished in the United States because practically every state has one of these gems, which give people clean air to breathe. What makes this forest special is the existence of both deciduous and evergreen trees. Besides the 365 days of a canopy of coniferous trees in spring, including cedar, fir pine, and spruce, it offers blooming dogwood and black cherry. Summer is the best season for individuals who live near woods since the oxygen level is high, and the flaming woodland show of the upcoming autumn is widely awaited.

Taiga Forests

These woods, sometimes known as Boreal forests, are found in the northern parts of the United States of America. Though not entirely native or widespread in North America, taiga woods may still be found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the northern Appalachians. Taiga woods are mostly found at tundra heights with extreme temperatures. Long, cold winters are the primary characteristic of these woodlands, and this environment is the catalyst for boreal plant development.

Oil Drilling in Alaska

6 Oldest Forest in America

1. Tongass National Forest, Alaska

The Tongass National Forest, the world’s biggest intact temperate rainforest, is a site of islands and salmon rivers. Soaring mountains sweep down into the dense ancient forest, and granite cliffs plunge into vast fjords.

Tongass National Forest houses some of the world’s oldest trees, with several reaching back more than 800 years. Spruce, cedar, and western hemlock trees may grow about 12 feet in diameter at chest level and extend more than 200 feet into the sky. These majestic trees show the last great wonders of biodiversity and natural richness.

Bald eagles, grizzly bears, wolves from the Alexander Archipelago, goshawks, and marbled murrelets are just a few uncommon animals that may be seen here.

2. Chattahoochee National Forest, South Carolina, and Georgia

Chattahoochee National Forest trees may grow more than 160 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter; this includes hemlocks, pines, and hardwoods. Spread over South Carolina’s Medlin Mountain slopes, the enormous trunks stand out against the extensively logged East Fork of the Chattooga River’s bank. These towering canopies shelter Rhododendron bushes, mountain camellias, and other endangered flora. 

Deeply carved on the terrain of Georgia’s woods are chapters of human history. So far, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest has been home to about 4,000 archaeological and historic sites. Among the remains are American Indian campsites and communities, ancient homesteads, mines, mill sites, and railroad grades

3. Heart’s Content Recreation Area, Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania

Some of the tallest old-growth trees in North America grow beside a readily accessible one-mile route in a modest 120-acre portion of the Allegheny National Forest. The Heart’s Content Recreation Area is home to a 900-cubic-foot white pine and 300-year-old hemlock and beech. This preserve is an excellent chance to see an ancient, magnificent forest and its fauna without venturing too far into the wilderness.

People frequently report bear sightings in a number of the campgrounds across the Allegheny National Forest. There’s an uptick in bear activity near Forest Roads 259 and 160, where bears have entered campsites, stolen food, and damaged property.

4. The Adirondack, New York

The Adirondack backcountry in New York is home to around 300,000 acres of old-growth trees. Deep inside the park are Some of the world’s biggest hardwoods located on distant ridges and along quiet rivers, where logging has been unable to disturb decades of steady development. However, particular stands have been preserved in accessible regions. Nearly 400-year-old hemlocks, sugar maples, and yellow birch may be seen within a couple minutes’ walk from the trailhead on Ampersand Mountain.

Porcupine Mountains Michigan

5. Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

The Porcupine Mountains house the oldest old-growth forests in the United States. Old-growth woods are also known as virgin forests, which are forests that have never been logged. The region is home to many trees and animals, such as black bears, bobcats, gray wolves, red foxes, mink, coyotes, and white-tailed deer and white wolves. The Porcupine Mountains state park was formed in 1945 as a protective order protecting the old-growth trees that grow there, most of which are of the maple hemlock variety. 

6. Coconino National Forest (Arizona)

When you think about Arizona, pictures of saguaro cacti and the desert may come to mind. And when you hear the phrase “national forest,” you may imagine kilometers of evergreen-covered mountains. Coconino National Forest defies both preconceptions, with landscapes ranging from stunning red rock formations to alpine tundra. Unsurprisingly, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping are all attractive activities in Coconino National Forest.

Coconino National Forest Arizona

Elden Pueblo is home to an important archaeological site atop the ruins of an old Sinagua hamlet, yet another distinctive aspect of Coconino National Forest. Items found in Elden Pueblo are believed to have come from as far away as Mexico and California, indicating the presence of an important trading station in the area.

Related: Largest Forests in the World, Forests in Japan, Fast-Growing Trees

Author’s Note

Across the United States, groves of old-growth woods are still deep into wilderness valleys, preserved in recreational areas or even someone’s garden. Whether you want to stroll through an old-growth forest in America or embark on an adventure to locate a new champion tree, there is always a pot of ancient forest where trees continue their centuries-long ascent toward the sky.

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