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28 Forests to explore in California

The most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine ForestWhite Mountain Rd, Bishop, CA 93514, USA

The Methuselah Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is the location of the "Methuselah", a Great Basin bristlecone pine that is 4,851 years old. It is considered to be the world's oldest known and confirmed living non-clonal organism. The Methuselah Grove trail includes the side valley of the Methuselah Grove where the oldest tree lives

Año Nuevo State Park1 New Years Creek Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060, USA

Año Nuevo State Park is a state park of California which are known for their pinniped rookeries. Located in San Mateo County. The reserve contains a diversity of plant communities, including old growth forest, freshwater marsh, red alder riparian forest and knobcone pine forest.

Butano State Park1500 Cloverdale Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060, USA

This is a state park of California showcasing a secluded redwood-filled canyon. The park features miles of hiking trails, 21 drive-in campsites, and 18 walk-in campsites, restrooms and more. Guided nature walk and weekend campfire programs are offered during the summer.

Carson-Iceberg WildernessArnold, CA 95223, USA

The Carson–Iceberg Wilderness is a federal wilderness area located 80 miles northeast of Stockton, California. It encompasses 160,000 acres and was designated by the California Wilderness Act of 1984. It protects an area of High Sierra landscape with elevations from 4,800 feet to 11,462 feet along the Sierra Mountains from Ebbetts Pass to Sonora Pass in the south. The wilderness supports large herds of mule deer and there is also good habitat for black bear

Castle Rock State Park15451 CA-35, Los Gatos, CA 95033, USA

Castle Rock State Park is a 5,242-acre state park of California, United States, located along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It embraces coast redwood, Douglas fir, and madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild, natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are a popular rock climbing area. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking trails.

Chumash WildernessMt Pinos Rd, Frazier Park, CA 93225, USA

A 38,150 acres of Wilderness is situated in the Mt. Pinos Ranger District and is also near the town of Frazier Park. It includes Mt. Pinos which was an integral part of Chumash life and is still extremely important to the local Chumash residents. The vegetation is mainly pine forests in the northern portion and a combination of badlands and chaparral in the south. Hiking and camping are among the many recreational opportunities. Snow in the winter provides opportunities for winter recreation.

Cleveland National ForestCo Hwy S7, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070, USA

This is a national forest that encompasses around 460,000 acres which is a warm dry Mediterranean climate that prevails over the Forest. It is the southernmost National forest of California. It is administered by the United States Forest Service, which is a government agency.

Devils Postpile National MonumentDevils Postpile Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA

Devils Postpile National Monument is a United States national monument located in Madera County in the Sierra Nevada region of the state of California.The monument protects Devils Postpile, an unusual rock formation of columnar basalt. It encompasses 798 acres and includes two main attractions: the Devils Postpile formation and Rainbow Falls, a waterfall on the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

Eldorado National Forest100 Forni Rd, Placerville, CA 95667, USA

The Eldorado National Forest is nestled in the dramatic central Sierra Nevada of California and bordering Nevada.The forest is bordered on the north by the Tahoe National Forest, on the east by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, on the southeast by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and to the south by the Stanislaus National Forest. The forest is also home to 297 lakes and reservoirs, which total 11,994 surface acres. This Forest provides diverse recreational opportunities to the public.

Huddart Park1100 Kings Mountain Rd, Woodside, CA 94062, USA

A majestic forest park set over 900 acres of coastal mountain environment with numerous trails running along cool gulches and over unique hillside habitats. It has barbecue pits, a playground, grassy meadows, and hiking and riding trails, Huddart Park makes a great place to have a picnic or explore a redwood forest.

Indian Creek Recreation Area100 Camp Ground Rd, Woodworth, LA 71485, USA

Indian Creek Recreation Area is a recreation area located inside Alexander State Forest in Rapides Parish near Woodworth, Louisiana. It includes Indian Creek Reservoir, which is an artificial lake developed with the aid of the Louisiana Forestry Commission, the Rapides Parish Police Jury, and the Lower West Red River Soil and Water Conservation District. The lake was created in 1970 as a reservoir for agricultural irrigation and for recreation purposes.

Indian Springs State Park678 Lake Clark Rd, Flovilla, GA 30216, USA

This state park is located near Jackson and Flovilla. The park is named for its several springs, which the Creek Indians used for centuries to heal the sick. The water from these springs is said to have a sulfur smell and taste. Indian Springs is thought to be the oldest state park in the nation . The park features a small museum that is open seasonally. Exhibits include the park's natural history, the resort era, activities of the CCC, and the history and culture of the Creek Indians.

Inyo National Forest351 Pacu Ln #200, Bishop, CA 93514, USA

Inyo National Forest is located in California's beautiful Eastern Sierra. It offers clean air, crystal blue skies, mountain lakes and streams, challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and beautiful views. The forest hosts several superlatives, including Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States; Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada; and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, which protects the oldest living trees in the world.

Lake Oroville State Rec AreaKelly Ridge Rd, Oroville, CA 95966, USA

A wonderful state park in United States, surrounding Lake Oroville, a reservoir on the Feather River. This area has lots of camping and fishing access for those who like the outdoors. There is a visitor center with interpretive exhibits and a 47-foot observation tower overlooking the lake and dam.Hidden train tunnels - When the water level gets low you can see train tunnels that are normally submerged.

Los Padres National ForestOjai, CA 93023, USA

Los Padres National Forest is a United States national forest in southern and central California. The forest is approximately 1,950,000 acres in area, of which 1,762,400 acres or about 88% are public lands; the rest are privately owned inholdings.This is a very popular area for hiking, with 323 miles (520 km) of hiking trails and 11 campgrounds.

Mokelumne WildernessArnold, CA 95223, USA

The 105,165 acre Mokelumne Wilderness straddles the crest of the central Sierra Nevada, within the Stanislaus, Eldorado, and Toiyabe National Forests. It encompasses an area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range between Ebbetts Pass to Carson Pass. There are two sections separated by the Blue Lakes Road and an Off-Road Vehicle corridor. With landscapes ranging from deep canyons to alpine heights and more than two hundred ice-scoured lakes and tarns, fishing and hiking are popular activities.

Nelder GroveSky Ranch Rd, Oakhurst, CA 93644, USA

A Giant sequoia grove located in the western Sierra Nevada within the Sierra National Forest, in Madera County, California. It contains a number of sequoia stumps, remaining from when the grove's ancient trees were logged in the late 1870s to 1890s.

Pacific Crest Trail - Meiss TrailheadCA-88, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA

Pacific Crest Trail is America’s second longest trail, stretching from Mexico to Canada through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Adventurous hikers looking for a challenge will take the high route through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges and witness some of America’s most scenic and varied terrain—from scorching desserts to snowy mountains—along the way. The route passes through 25 national forests and 7 national parks.

Portola Redwoods State Park9000 Portola State Park Rd, La Honda, CA 94020, USA

This is a state park that was located in San Mateo county. There are so many things to see in and around the park and are the park's primary watercourses, and feature numerous tributaries. It includes hiking trails, a small car-camping campground of about 50 campsites, four group campsites, and 6 trail sites at Slate Creek Trail Camp. Portola Redwoods State Park is also home to the site of Page shingle Mill.

Rancho Corral de TierraFrenchmans Creek Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA

Rancho is one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the San Mateo peninsula. Once planned for development, this land is now protected as part of our nation's natural legacy. The park contains sensitive habitat for several rare and endangered species, including the San Francisco garter snake and the Montara manzanita. Hiking, biking, and horse trails are present, but are still being developed, and may not be in good condition until repaired.