This blog post was updated on August 4, 2023.
Love enjoying evergreens in their natural environment any time of year? You’ll be happy to know then that there are plenty of places around the United States where they thrive year-round. Here are six suggestions of some of the most spectacular parks and forests in the United States, known for their captivating conifers and great hiking trails!
Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest (Rutland, Vermont)
The Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests are technically two separate forests, but they share the same administrative headquarters. Together they comprise over 416,000 acres throughout southern Vermont and the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Both of them contain large swaths of evergreens, including Balsam fir, white spruce, red spruce, hemlock and white pine. The Forest has over 30 miles of interconnecting trails that take hikers through scenic ravines, pastures and woodlands. It’s a great way to explore this ecologically diverse region!
Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park, Colorado)
The harsh mountain climate of Rocky Mountain National Park is just perfect for evergreens. Visitors to this unique environment can see many different varieties, including the Ponderosa pine (characterized by their large size and open or flattened tops) and Lodgepole pines (which can resemble Ponderosa pines, but tend to be narrower). There are plenty of hiking trails of varying difficulty to use throughout the park.
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (Marblemount, Washington)
Located in Washington State, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest extends more than 140 miles along the Cascade Range from the Canadian border to Mount Rainier National Park. Hike the Evergreen Mountain Trail (located along a section of the forest that was inadvertently burned in the 1960s) to discover wildflowers, northern wildlife (elk, bobcats, brown bears), and, of course, striking evergreens!
Acadia National Park (Mount Desert Island, Maine)
Located along the coastline of Maine near Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park is home to many kinds of different evergreen trees, such as red spruce, white spruce, and balsam fir. The park has 125 miles of hiking trails to explore the forests, as well as kayaking and canoeing, so you can see the woods from the water. There are also campgrounds so you can spend several days exploring this beautiful, pristine region, and other accommodation options nearby for those who don’t want to sleep outdoors. You can find salt and fresh bodies of water to swim on warmer summer days. If you prefer winter, you can try the snowmobile trails through the trees, as well as snowshoeing, hiking, and ice fishing. This park is a great place to come to get away from it all and discover the wild coast of Maine all year round!
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Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (Roanoke Island, North Carolina)
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is full of natural beauty, covered in a dense evergreen maritime forest with trees such as live oak, laurel oak, and loblolly pine, all of which can live well over 100 years! Roanoke is one of the first known European settlements of the New World and has plenty of archaeological sites and historic monuments relevant to European, Croatoan, Algonquin, and African American history. Explore the several trails through the forest to learn more about the island’s culture and watch a brief video in the outside theatre about the Lost Colony of Roanoke, which disappeared mysteriously in the late 1500s. After discovering the island’s history and natural beauty, why not take the time to go fishing? Relaxing in a boat or on the shore sounds like a great way to start or end your visit!
Coconino National Forest (Arizona)
The Coconino National Forest may definitely surprise you. Arizona is often thought of as a huge desert, but it also has both evergreen and deciduous forests, apart from mountains, valleys, and rivers…just some food for thought in case you weren’t sure about booking cheap last minute flights to the Grand Canyon State! The park is comprised of several districts or sections, covering over 1.8 million acres and providing tons of space for exploration, adventure, and relaxation.
The Oak Creek Canyon within the Forest has a massive Ponderosa Pine forest at the top (around 6,500 feet) that gradually changes to deciduous trees when you go down to 4,500 feet. The Mogollon Rim is covered in dense foliage with many lakes and streams perfect for fishing. Snow-covered mountains can be seen if you look at the San Francisco Peaks, as well as the gorgeous color of the Red Rocks of Sedona.