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National Forest Week kicks off today and goes until July 19. Help clients celebrate this week, and all summer long, by recommending a trip to a U.S. National Forest.
National forests feature a variety of outdoor activities, from mountain biking to kayaking and more. Vast in size, they are also ideal for social distancing — making them perfect for clients looking to book a less risky domestic vacation.
Following are nine national forests to consider.
Before traveling, be sure to review the most up-to-date news regarding closures and restrictions at each national forest. The U.S. Forest Service is recommending that visitors follow precautions recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More information is available here.
Cherokee National Forest (Elizabethton, Tenn.)The perfect destination for outdoor recreation and thrill-seekers, Cherokee National Forest spans 650,000 acres and includes 15 different recreation areas. Choose from a variety of activities, from biking to horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cathy Anderson, Photographer (@cathyandersonphoto) on Jun 24, 2020 at 11:16am PDT
A post shared by Cathy Anderson, Photographer (@cathyandersonphoto) on Jun 24, 2020 at 11:16am PDT
One must-see is the Watauga Lake Area, a key spot for water recreation and home to several streams and waterfalls. Or, climb the steep mountainside of the Roan Mountain Highlands to discover a rich landscape of plants and animals.
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Chippewa National Forest (Cass Lake, Minn.)Chippewa National Forest is located in north central Minnesota. With more than 400,000 acres of lakes and wetlands — a larger amount than any other national forest — Chippewa is a popular draw for its wide range of water activities, such as skiing, canoeing and fishing.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sophia Ann (@sophdogg88) on Jun 14, 2020 at 3:32pm PDT
A post shared by Sophia Ann (@sophdogg88) on Jun 14, 2020 at 3:32pm PDT
Coconino National Forest (Flagstaff, Ariz.)Arizona’s Coconino National Forest’s wildly varied terrain includes desert landscapes, red rock formations, dense forests and alpine tundra. While there, clients will want to take advantage of such diversity by hiking through red rock canyons, horseback riding through ponderosa pines and fishing in the various lakes and streams. If lucky, they may get the chance to see the distinct selection of wildlife that call the national forest home, including elk, black bears, rattlesnakes and more.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kboothe (@keribootheoutdoorphotography) on Apr 26, 2020 at 9:01pm PDT
A post shared by Kboothe (@keribootheoutdoorphotography) on Apr 26, 2020 at 9:01pm PDT
Dixie National Forest (Cedar City, Utah)Straddling the divide between Great Basin and Colorado River, Dixie National Forest stretches for almost 170 miles across southern Utah and is near three national parks and two national monuments. At the top of the national forest’s Powell Point, visitors can see for miles into three different states. Meanwhile, on a clear day, the view from the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness area reveals Zion National Park to the west and some of Arizona’s highest mountains to the south.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Olivier (@oliv.fte) on Oct 19, 2019 at 7:30am PDT
A post shared by Olivier (@oliv.fte) on Oct 19, 2019 at 7:30am PDT
Hike the trails, fish in the lakes or mountain bike on Boulder Mountain, one of the largest high-elevation plateaus in the U.S.. Don’t forget to take in the red sandstone formations of the Red Canyon, too.
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Kootenai National Forest (Libby, Mont.)Located in the far northwestern section of Montana, with a small chunk on the northeast corner of Idaho and bordering Canada on the north, Kootenai National Forest encompasses 2.2 million acres of protected forested area. As such, it features a sweeping variety of terrain.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brandon Horoho - Photographer (@horohophoto) on Oct 16, 2017 at 5:48am PDT
A post shared by Brandon Horoho - Photographer (@horohophoto) on Oct 16, 2017 at 5:48am PDT
Clients can choose from 94 miles of trails in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, which is a range of glaciated peaks and valleys. While journeying in the backcountry, adventurers will encounter alpine meadows, streams and lakes.
With 191 recorded species of birds, as well as elk, bighorn sheep, moose, mountain lions, grizzly bears and more, there is no shortage of wildlife in the national forest.
Monongahela National Forest (Elkins, W.Va)Those looking for an endless choice of outdoor recreation should look no further than the century-old Monongahela National Forest, which offers an extensive backwoods road and trail system.
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A post shared by RENEE (@roamingwithrenee) on May 26, 2020 at 10:34am PDT
For a real challenge, clients can trek 4,863 feet to Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia. Or, they can climb the jutted edges of Seneca Rocks, one of the most famous landmarks in West Virginia that towers almost 900 feet above North Fork River.
Salmon-Challis National Forest (Salmon, Idaho)Covering an outstanding 4.3 million acres, Salmon-Challis National Forest also contains one of the largest wilderness areas in the continental U.S.: The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which has almost 2.4 million acres of mountains, canyons, rivers, and fir and pine forests.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Josh McKee (@trailrunaddict) on Jul 21, 2016 at 8:27pm PDT
A post shared by Josh McKee (@trailrunaddict) on Jul 21, 2016 at 8:27pm PDT
This national forest also includes the highest mountain in Idaho: the 12,500-foot Borah Peak. And, of course, the Salmon River — whose Middle Fork river holds 104 miles of free-flowing river — should not be missed, either.
Sequoia National Forest (Kernville, Calif.)Located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California, Sequoia National Forest is probably best known for its namesake: the Giant Sequoia trees that grow in 38 different groves around the forest.
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A post shared by may oliveros (@caipirinha101) on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:54pm PDT
To really marvel in their beauty, clients should explore the Long Meadow Grove (also known as Redwood Meadow Grove). The grove itself is relatively flat, making it an easy walk that’s accessible from the main road. Here, visitors will find about 125 giant sequoias, most of which are wider than 10 feet in diameter. The Trail of 100 Giants runs through the grove, too, and is an easy, accessible walk.
Another notable spot in the national forest is Lake Isabella, a lake created by the Isabella Dam in 1953. It divides the Upper Kern River from the Lower Kern River, which are popular spots for whitewater rafting. The Isabella reservoir is a great location for fishing, boating and watersports, and is one of California’s most popular windsurfing areas.
White Mountain National Forest (Campton, N.H.)With more than 800,000 acres of terrain and some 1,200 miles of hiking trails in eastern New Hampshire and western Maine, White Mountain National Forest is a can’t-miss spot for adventuring clients this summer.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by cangell (@angell031365) on Jul 6, 2020 at 4:54pm PDT
A post shared by cangell (@angell031365) on Jul 6, 2020 at 4:54pm PDT
Hike the Lincoln Woods Trail into the headwaters of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, and stumble upon one of the largest roadless areas in the eastern U.S. — the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Or, hike to the summit of the 6,288-foot Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast.