America’s Most Popular National Forests Revealed in New Study

As spring weather starts to come around, the days are growing longer and flowers are in their full bloom. This year, March 21st marks the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Forests. The day was created by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of the different types of forests.

In the United States alone, there are a total of 155 recognized national forests. With that in mind,  Musement, the digital platform for discovering and booking travel experiences around the world, conducted a study to find out which are the most popular national forests in America. The study analyzed the average Google search volume, the number of Instagram mentions, and the number of Google reviews for each of the national forests. *

Based on the study, here are the 8 most popular national forests that should be visited the next time you think about connecting with Mother Nature.

Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina (Score: 263)-

Finishing as the top-ranked in search volume and mentions on Instagram, the Pisgah National Forest, founded in 1916, comes in as the most popular national forest in America. Located in Ashville, the forest covers over 500,000 acres and offers plenty of outdoor activities to take part in. Take a stroll along one of the hiking trails, admire the many waterfalls, or just enjoy the picturesque mountain scenery views.

Angeles National Forest, California (Score: 236) – Just on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the Angeles National Forest comes in at number two in the ranking. With a total of 144,494 Instagram mentions, this forest finished second in this category and came in a tie for second place for monthly search volumes. The watersheds located within the forest provide clean, drinking water to nearly one-third of the population in Los Angeles.

Tonto National Forest, Arizona (Score: 212) – 

With 27,100 searches a month, Tonto National Forest tied for the top spot in monthly search volume. Of the six national forests in Arizona, Tonto ranks the largest, covering a total of 2.9 million acres. From pine forests to the Sonoran Desert and over 900 miles of trails, the opportunities are endless for exploring this majestic area.  This national forest is just a 30-minute drive from Phoenix, so, a full day trip is well worth it.

Coconino National Forest, Arizona (Score: 175) – Topping the rankings for Google Reviews with over 21,000, the Coconino National Forest comes in at number four on the list of most popular National Forests in America. Bordering Flagstaff and Sedona, Coconino houses Mormon Lake, Arizona’s largest natural water basin. Expect to see a wide variety of wildlife on a visit here, from herds of elk to black bears and bald eagles.

Inyo National Forest, California and Nevada (Score: 154) – 

Inyo National Forest finishes in a tie for second place for monthly searches with 22,200. The forest was established in 1907 by Theodore Roosevelt to aid in the Los Angeles Aqueduct project. Around 60,700 of the 1.9 million acres of forest is in Nevada, while the remaining is in California. Head to Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States, and see the breathtaking views from up above.

Shawnee National Forest, Illinois (Score: 153) – This national forest, situated in Southern Illinois, is the only national forest in the state. With 27,100 searches a month, it shares the top spot in this category. Highlights include the Garden of the Gods, the popular hiking trail that features beautiful rock formations from over 320 million years ago and offers one-of-a-kind scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts also have the opportunity for rock and speed climbing at Jackson Falls.

Sequoia National Forest, California (Score: 145) – 

Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, the Sequoia National Forest takes seventh place in the ranking. With over 1.1 million acres, the forest is named after the giant Sequoia trees that can be found throughout the forest. In fact, over 195,000 acres of the forest is made up by sequoia groves. Mountain biking, horseback riding, and backpacking are just a few of the activities to enjoy at Sequoia National Forest.

San Bernardino National Forest, California (Score: 133) – Coming in at second for Google Reviews, with over 17,000 reviews, San Bernardino National Forest is not to miss. From desert floors to the frozen tundra, guests will discover a wide range of landscapes. Animal lovers should make a visit to Big Bear Lake to explore and see the variety of wildlife roaming the area. The openness of this national forest will present you with prime stargazing opportunities.

Additional info on the most popoular national forests:

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