There are 154 national forests in the United States, covering an area of more than 188 million acres. Overall, over 7% of the world’s forests are located in America, one of the largest concentrations on Earth. Chest out this list of the largest forest in each of the 50 states, including their exact locations and acreage.
Alabama – Talladega National Forest
The Talladega National Forest sits at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains in Alabama. It covers 392,567 acres of vast wilderness of pine forest regrowth. Some of the animals inhabiting the area include coyotes, black bears, foxes, and white-tailed deer.
Alaska – Tongass National Forest
Located in Southeast Alaska, the Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States. It contains 16.7 million acres, most of which are temperate rainforests home to diverse plants and animals.
Arizona – Tonto National Forest
The Tonto National forest is more than 2.8 million acres of rugged wilderness, encompassing parts of the Sonoran Desert and ponderosa pine forests. It’s located in Central Arizona and is the ninth-largest national forest in the Country.
Arkansas – Ouachita National Forest
Ouachita is the oldest national forest in the Southern United States, where it predominately sits in the western portion of Arkansas and some of Oklahoma’s eastern region. Ouachita National Forest is 1.78 million acres of extensive woodlands and old-growth forest.
California – Shasta-Trinity National Forest
This federally designated forest is in Northern California, where it covers 2.2 million acres and various wilderness areas, including craggy rock formations, dense thickets, mountains, lakes, and rivers. The Shasta-Trinity Forest lies at the intersection of the Southern Cascades and the Eastern Klamath Mountains.
Colorado – White River National Forest
The White River National Forest is in Northeast Colorado, where it is the most visited national forest in the United States due to its ski areas. The forest covers nearly 2.3 million acres and is home to bears, mountain lions, sheep, elk, and many birds.
Connecticut – Pachaug State Forest
As the largest forest in Connecticut, Pachaug State Forest encompasses 27,000 acres near the Rhode Island border. The forest contains the Pachaug River, meadow swamps, and popular hiking trails.
Delaware – Redden State Forest
Spanning 12,900 acres, Redden State Forest is the largest forest in the state of Delaware. You will find it near Georgetown in Sussex County, where it’s popular for its more than 40 miles of hiking and cycling trails.
Florida – Apalachicola National Forest
This national forest encompasses 632,890 acres and is the largest forested area in the state. You can find it near Tallahassee, where it’s popular for many outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, fishing, and boating.
Georgia – Chattahoochee National Forest
Stretching across 26 counties and covering 867,000 acres, the Chattahoochee National Forest is the only national forest in Georgia. Visitors to this recreational and protected area enjoy hundreds of miles of trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas.
Hawaii – Oahu
The largest forest in Hawaii is actually the island of Oahu, which boasts 130,000 acres of forested terrain. Along with deep, lush wilderness, Oahu also features stunning coastal cliffs and unique plants and animals.
Idaho – Salmon-Challis National Forest
Located in East-Central Idaho, the Salmon-Challis National Forest covers 4.3 million acres and is one of the largest national forests in the United States. Along with endless miles of lush forests, this national park contains high peaks and the wild Salmon River.
Illinois – Sand Ridge State Forest
The Sand Ridge State Forest is a conservation area in Illinois, encompassing 7,200 acres in Northern Mason County. This state forest overlooks the Illinois River on a low bluff and contains dryland oak-hickory woodlands.
Indiana – Hoosier National Forest
The Hoosier National Forest is 202,814 acres and is Indiana’s largest forested area. It sits in the hills of Southern Indiana, where it features many caves, 266 miles of trails, and several historic and archeological sites.
Iowa – Stephens State Forest
Located in five counties in Iowa, Stephens State Forest consists of seven separate locations and a total of 15,500 acres. The forest mainly comprises tallgrass prairie, upland hardwood, and bottomland hardwood.
Kansas – Cimarron National Grassland
Located in Morton County, Kansas, the Cimarron National Grassland is the largest forested or semi-forested area in the state. It is also the largest area of public land in the state. The land is mainly prairie grassland, but there are groves of cottonwoods near rivers and streams.
Kentucky – Daniel Boone National Forest
The Daniel Boone National Forest, previously known as the Cumberland National Forest, is 708,000 acres and is the largest forest in Kentucky. This national forest is popular among tourists and outdoor lovers for its trails, landmarks, and vast wilderness.
Louisiana – Kisatchie National Forest
Kisatchie National Forest resides in several central and northern parishes and is the only national forest in Louisiana. It encompasses 604,000 acres and comprises large areas of longleaf pine forests, bogs, and prairies.
Maine – North Maine Woods
Located in Northern Maine, the North Maine Woods is a combination of private state, industrial, and individual owners. It encompasses a staggering 3.5 million acres and is home to many species of flora and fauna, such as moose, deer, black bears, coyotes, and bobcats.
Maryland – Savage River State Forest
The Savage River State Forest is in the northern part of Garrett County in Maryland. It is known for its 54,000 acres of hardwood forests and many waterways, most of which lead to the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.
Massachusetts – October Mountain State Forest
This 16,460-acre forest and recreational area lies primarily in the town of Washington, Massachusetts in the western part of the state. October Mountain State Forest is a popular area for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.
Michigan – Huron-Manistee National Forests
While they are two separate national forests, the Huron and Manistee national forests were combined in 1945 due to administrative reasons. Combined, they comprise 978,906 acres of public lands. It contains extensive wetlands and forests.
Minnesota – Pine Island State Forest
Pine Island State Forest is the largest forest in Minnesota, where it’s located mainly in Koochiching County, in the northern region of the state. Much of the activities in the area center around the Big Fork River, offering swimming, boating, and fishing.
Mississippi – De Soto National Forest
Named after the Spanish explorer, De Soto National Forest is 518,587 acres of pine forests in the southern region of Mississippi. Part of the Gulf Coast ecoregion. this national forest is home to great biological diversity.
Missouri – Mark Twain National Forest
The Mark Twain National Forest lies in the southern half of Missouri, where its encompasses 3.1 million acres. Divided into three sections, this national forest contains public land, wilderness, and scenic river areas.
Montana – Beaverhead – Deerlodge National Forest
The largest national forest in Montana is Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, which covers 3.36 million acres. The forest consists of ponderosa pines, rugged mountains, and meadows.
Nebraska – Nebraska National Forest
This Nebraska national forest is 141,864 acres across parts of Thomas, Blaine, Dawes, and Sioux Counties. Nebraska National Forest has miles of open spaces and big sky.
Nevada – Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
The Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest is the largest forest in Nevada. With 6.3 million acres, it is the largest national forest in the lower 48 states. However, this forest is not a continuous stretch, it’s broken into multiple sections spread across the state.
New Hampshire – White Mountain National Forest
Covering around 800,000 acres in New Hampshire and some parts of Maine, White Mountain National Forest is the only national forest in New Hampshire. Popular for outdoor recreation, this forest sees six million annual visitors.
New Jersey – Wharton State Forest
The largest forest in New Jersey is Wharton State Forest, a stretch of land that stretches for nearly 123,000 acres. It is part of the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve and lies on the northeastern part of Hammonton.
New Mexico – Gila National Forest
Gila National Forest is 2.7 million acres and contains national monuments, ruin sites, and abundant unique animals, like gila mosnters and desert bighorn sheep.
New York – Adirondack Park
Adirondack Park is the largest forest in New York, where it resides in the northeastern portion of the state. It covers more than six million acres and is one of the largest publicly owned land in the country.
North Carolina – Nantahala National Forest
North Carolina is one of the states with the highest amount of forested land, covering more than half of the state. The Nantahala National Forest is the largest in North Carolina, covering an area of 531,270 acres.
North Dakota – Turtle Mountain State Forest
The largest forest in North Dakota is Turtle Mountain State Forest, covering 7,500 acres near the Western Turtle Mountains. This forest is popular for birdwatching, camping, and ATV trails.
Ohio – Shawnee State Forest
The Shawnee State Forest lies in Adams and Scioto counties, where it covers 63,747 acres of rolling forested hills, hundreds of miles of marked trails, and more than 500 wildlife species.
Oklahoma – Ouachita National Forest
While most of Ouachita National Forest lies in Western Arkansas, parts of the forest also sit within the extreme eastern regions of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Ranger District consists of 363,000 acres.
Oregon – Willamette National Forest
Covering 1.67 million acres, the Willamette National Forest is the largest forest in Oregon. It’s located in the central region of the Cascade Range, where it contains thousands of miles of trails and hundreds of lakes and rivers.
Pennsylvania – Sproul State Forest
The Sproul State Forest is in North-Central Pennsylvania, where it sits in the Allegheny Plateau and covers 305,450 acres. This forest contains important bird areas and more than 300 miles of recreational trails.
Rhode Island – George Washington Memorial State Forest
George Washington Memorial State Forest resides in the town of Gloucester, Rhode Island. It contains more than 4,000 acres of protected forest and primitive camping areas.
South Carolina – Sumter National Forest
The largest forest in South Carolina is Sumter National Forest and it covers 370,000 acres across 11 counties in Central and Western South Carolina. There are more than 60 mountains in this forest.
South Dakota – Black Hills National Forest
The Black Hills National Forest is 1.2 million acres and is famous for its dark-appearing pine trees. The famous Mount Rushmore monument is surrounded by these black hills and is a popular tourist attraction in South Dakota.
Tennessee – Cherokee National Forest
Tennessee’s largest forest is the Cherokee National Forest, which sits in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. It ranges 655,598 acres and contains 700 miles of trails and thousands of plants and animals.
Texas – Sam Houston National Forest
The Sam Houston National Forest is the biggest forest in Texas and spans 163,037 acres across three counties. It’s home to several archaeological sites and 85 miles of recreational trails.
Utah – Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is the largest forest in Utah, covering 2.2 million acres and extending into Wyoming. It’s a popular spot for tourists and recreation, with many people visiting to hike, camp, and fish.
Vermont – Green Mountain National Forest
With eight designated wilderness areas that span more than 820,000 acres, Green Mountain National Forest is the largest in Vermont. It’s popular among recreationists for its 900 miles of hiking trails and Texas Falls.
Virginia – George Washington and Jefferson National Forest
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forest is the largest forest in Virginia, spanning across six counties for 1.8 million acres. It contains mature hardwood forests, limestone cliffs, and crystal-clear lakes.
Washington – Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest spans from the Canadian border to the foothills of Yakima. With 3.8 million acres, it’s one of the largest forests in the United States and a popular area for recreation.
West Virginia – Monongahela National Forest
West Virginia’s largest forest is Monongahela National Forest, spanning over 919,000 acres in eastern regions of the state. Not only does it cover seven percent of West Virginia, it also contains the state’s highest elevation.
Wisconsin – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is in Northern Wisconsin and covers 1.5 million acres. It combines two separate national forests and spans a total of 12 counties, featuring wetlands, uplands, meadows, and pine savannas.
Wyoming – Bridger-Teton National Forest
With 3.5 million acres, Bridger-Teton National Forest is the largest forest in Wyoming and one of the largest in the country. It’s a popular area for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and horseback riding.
A Summary of the Largest Forest in Each 50 States
|Talladega National Forest
|Tongass National Forest
|Tonto National Forest
|Ouachita National Forest
|Shasta-Trinity National Forest
|White River National Forest
|Pachaug State Forest
|Redden State Forest
|Apalachicola National Forest
|Chattahoochee National Forest
|Salmon-Challis National Forest
|Sand Ridge State Forest
|Hoosier National Forest
|Stephens State Forest
|Cimarron National Grassland
|Daniel Boone National Forest
|Kisatchie National Forest
|North Maine Woods
|Savage River State Forest
|October Mountain State Forest
|Huron-Manistee National Forests
|Pine Island State Forest
|De Soto National Forest
|Mark Twain National Forest
|Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
|Nebraska National Forest
|Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
|White Mountain National Forest
|Wharton State Forest
|Gila National Forest
|Nantahala National Forest
|Turtle Mountain State Forest
|Shawnee State Forest
|Ouachita National Forest
|Willamette National Forest
|Sproul State Forest
|George Washington Memorial State Forest
|Sumter National Forest
|Black Hills National Forest
|Cherokee National Forest
|Sam Houston National Forest
|Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
|Green Mountain National Forest
|George Washington and Jefferson National Forest
|Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
|Monongahela National Forest
|Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
|Bridger-Teton National Forest
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