Discover the Largest Forest in Each of the 50 States

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: November 15, 2023
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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

Sunrise at Cheaha State Park, Talladega National Forest, Alabama, USA

The highest spots in Alabama are located in the Talladega Mountains.

©Sharon Davies Photography/Shutterstock.com

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

Tongass National Forest, Alaska - US State, Adventure, Backgrounds, Beauty

Tongass National Forest covers 500 miles of southeastern Alaska.

©iStock.com/ad_foto

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

Tonto Basin, AZ is located next to Tonto National Forest

Sign of Tonto National Forest with The Lost Dutchman.

©iStock.com/Gooda Photography

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 National Forest, Arkansas

You’ll find the Ouachita National Forest in Western Arkansas.

©Zack Frank/Shutterstock.com

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

Shasta-Trinity Forest has many wilderness zones.

©Zack Frank/Shutterstock.com

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

USA, Colorado. White River National Forest, Narrowleaf cottonwood with autumn foliage along Capitol Creek Road.

White River National Forest is the most visited national park in the United States

©Danita Delimont/Shutterstock.com

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

Pachaug State Forest

There are enough hiking routes in the 27,000 acres of the forest to keep you busy for a day.

©1,936 × 2,592 pixels, file size: 2.67 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg – License

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

Redden State Forest Delaware

Redden State Forest covers 12,900 acres.

©CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

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

Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola National Forest is the largest forest in Florida.

©Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock.com

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

Appalachia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Fog, Forest, High Angle View

Chattahoochee National Forest is the only national forest in Georgia.

©iStock.com/DurdenImages

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 limestone cliff and strong waves at Laie Beach Park or Pounders Beach , Northshore Oahu Island, Hawaii USA by beach background

Oahu is the most forested region of Hawaii with over 130,000 acres of forest.

©Hulabear/Shutterstock.com

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

Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho

Timber Creek – Rocky Creek southwest of Leadore, Idaho in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

© Intermountain Forest Service, USDA Region 4 Photography / Flickr – License

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

Sand Ridge State Forest

Dispersed camping at Sand Ridge State Forest, Mason County, Illinois.

©iStock.com/Nicola Patterson

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

Hoosier National Park in autumn

The Hoosier National Forest boasts its bright colors amid a hilly, limestone chiseled landscape.

©iStock.com/JoeyBLS

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

The Largest Forest in Iowa
Stephen’s State Forest is the largest in Iowa.

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

Cimarron National Grassland, Kansas

Cimarron National Grassland is the largest area of public land in Kansas.

©Madison P Lauer/Shutterstock.com

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

Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky, USA at the Natural Arch at dusk in autumn.

Daniel Boone National Forest is 708,000 acres.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

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 Sign in Louisiana

An entrance sign for Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana.

©Real Window Creative/Shutterstock.com

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

North Maine Woods

The largest forest in Maine is the North Maine Woods, which covers an incredible 3.5 million acres!

©Kelly vanDellen/Shutterstock.com

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

Savage River in Savage River State Forest, Maryland as seen from the Allegany Bridge.

©Aneta Kaluzna, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons – License

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

A colorful forest in Massachusetts, USA.

October Mountain State Forest is popular for hiking and biking.

©Scarabea/Shutterstock.com

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

Au Sable River Wilderness Overlook. View of the Huron National Forest wilderness with the famous Au Sable River in the lush green forests of Michigan.

Huron-Manistee National Forests combined in 1945.

©ehrlif/Shutterstock.com

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

Calm lake and fog in northern Minnesota with trees in autumn color and pines on a small island

This Minnesota state forest centers around the Big Fork River.

©Dan Thornberg/Shutterstock.com

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

De Soto National Forest

Nestled within this great state lies an oasis of biodiversity within The De Soto National Forest.

©Steven L.J. Reich/Shutterstock.com

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

Mark Twain National Forest of Missouri

©Randy Kostichka/Shutterstock.com

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

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is the largest forest in the state of Montana.

©Emily Kerns/Shutterstock.com

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

shallow and wide Dismal River flowing through Nebraska Sandhills at Nebraska National Forest, aerial view of morning summer scenery

The Dismal River flows through the Nebraska National Forest.

©marekuliasz/Shutterstock.com

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 sunsets beautifully over the White Pine Mountains in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

©Dominic Gentilcore PhD/Shutterstock.com

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

Frankenstein Trestle- New Hampshire

Autumn foliage is gorgeous at Frankenstein Cliff on Crawford Notch Road in the White Mountain.

©iStock.com/Craig Zerbe

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

Wharton State Forest

Wharton State Forest is home to numerous lakes, trails, and historic sites.

©New Jersey Pinelands Commission, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons – License

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

New Mexico is one of the Mountain States of the southern Rocky Mountains.

©iStock.com/RAUL RODRIGUEZ

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

The Adirondack Park

The Adirondack Park covers six million acres.

©Kathryn Merrill/Shutterstock.com

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

Silver Run Falls, a beautiful waterfall in Nantahala National Forest near the town of Cashiers in the North Carolina mountains, plunges into a swimming hole at its base.

Nantahala National Forest is more than 530,000 acres.

©Kenneth Keifer/Shutterstock.com

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

Turtle Mountain State Forest

Turtle Mountain State Forest is popular for outdoor recreation.

©CC BY-SA 2.0 – License

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

Shawnee state forest

Shawnee State Forest contains a state park, lookout towers, and historic sites.

©iStock.com/Corey B. Stevens

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

Kiamichi Mountains Oklahoma

Ouachita National Forest lies partly in Eastern Oklahoma.

©iStock.com/Don Blakes Prairie Wind Photography

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

McKenzie River

The Willamette National Forest is famed for its numerous hiking and biking trails.

©Michael Balada/Shutterstock.com

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

Sproul State Forest

Sproul State Forest contains important bird areas.

©Nicholas_T / flickr / CC BY 2.0 – License

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

Autumn leaves on Blackstone River Bikeway in Cumberland, Rhode Island

The largest forest in Rhode Island is George Washington Memorial State Forest.

©nsiliya/Shutterstock.com

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

Sumter National Forest

Sumter National Forest contains more than 60 mountains.

©phonghoang/Shutterstock.com

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

Distant View of Mount Rushmore in Black Hills forest South Dakota

South Dakota’s iconic Mount Rushmore is framed by trees in this view from a roadside stop.

©Allen Allnoch/iStock via Getty Images

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

A cloudy and foggy day at the beautiful Watauga Lake in the Cherokee National Forest in northeastern Tennessee.

This is a cloudy day at the beautiful Watauga Lake in the Cherokee National Forest.

©iStock.com/Eifel Kreutz

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

Road in Sam Houston National Forest

The largest forest in Texas is Sam Houston National Forest.

©Tyler Stuard/Shutterstock.com

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

Lilly Lake Utah

Covering more than two million acres, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is the largest in Utah.

©IrinaK/Shutterstock.com

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

Texas Falls in Green Mountain National Forest in Hancock village, Vermont, USA.

Green Mountain National Forest has 900 miles of hiking trails.

©Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

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

Appalachian Mountains in Virginia along the Blue Ridge Parkway in George Washington and Jefferson National Forest

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.

©Film Adventure/Shutterstock.com

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

Nature of Washington State USA. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is one of the largest forests in the country.

©Velimir Zeland/Shutterstock.com

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

Fall Color, Summit Lake, Monongahela National Forest, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, USA

Monongahela National Forest covers seven percent of West Virginia.

©Malachi Jacobs/Shutterstock.com

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

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Chequamegon-Nicolet is a National Forest in Northern Wisconsin.

©iStock.com/Jacob Boomsma

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

Mountain stream in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming USA

Bridger-Teton National Forest is 3.5 million acres.

©jshphoto/Shutterstock.com

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

NumberStateLargest Forest
#1AlabamaTalladega National Forest
#2AlaskaTongass National Forest
#3ArizonaTonto National Forest
#4ArkansasOuachita National Forest
#5CaliforniaShasta-Trinity National Forest
#6ColoradoWhite River National Forest
#7ConnecticutPachaug State Forest
#8DelawareRedden State Forest
#9 FloridaApalachicola National Forest
#10GeorgiaChattahoochee National Forest
#11HawaiiOahu
#12IdahoSalmon-Challis National Forest
#13IllinoisSand Ridge State Forest
#14IndianaHoosier National Forest
#15IowaStephens State Forest
#16KansasCimarron National Grassland
#17KentuckyDaniel Boone National Forest
#18LouisianaKisatchie National Forest
#19MaineNorth Maine Woods
#20MarylandSavage River State Forest
#21MassachusettsOctober Mountain State Forest
#22MichiganHuron-Manistee National Forests
#23MinnesotaPine Island State Forest
#24Mississippi De Soto National Forest
#25MissouriMark Twain National Forest
#26MontanaBeaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
#27NebraskaNebraska National Forest
#28NevadaHumboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
#29New HampshireWhite Mountain National Forest
#30New JerseyWharton State Forest
#31New MexicoGila National Forest
#32New YorkAdirondack Park
#33North CarolinaNantahala National Forest
#34North DakotaTurtle Mountain State Forest
#35OhioShawnee State Forest
#36OklahomaOuachita National Forest
#37OregonWillamette National Forest
#38PennsylvaniaSproul State Forest
#39Rhode IslandGeorge Washington Memorial State Forest
#40South CarolinaSumter National Forest
#41South DakotaBlack Hills National Forest
#42TennesseeCherokee National Forest
#43TexasSam Houston National Forest
#44UtahUinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
#45VermontGreen Mountain National Forest
#46VirginiaGeorge Washington and Jefferson National Forest
#47WashingtonOkanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
#48West VirginiaMonongahela National Forest
#49WisconsinChequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
#50WyomingBridger-Teton National Forest

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/ad_foto


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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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