The 13 Midwestern National Forests

The Midwestern region of the US holds thirteen US National Forests.

The midwestern Region is endowed with vast forest coverage. Some of the forests are managed of by the US National Forest Service - these are called National Forests. The forests are home to popular and sometimes unique flora and fauna. They are often popular tourist destinations. The 13 midwestern national forests are discussed below.

13. Chequamegon-Nicolet

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is located in Northern Wisconsin. They were declared as national forests in 1933. Chequamegon and Nicolet were managed as single units until 1993 when they were merged as one. The forest covers 1,530,647 acres of land. Logging has been a major threat to the forest. The Civilian Conservation Corps planted some of the trees in the forest in the 1930s. Rivers, streams, wetlands, bogs, glacial lakes and pine savannas are located in different parts of the forest. Some of the popular trees in the forest are sugar maple, red maple, coniferous trees, aspen, and black oaks. The forest is also has numerous animals such as squirrels, chipmunks, wild turkeys, rabbits, black bears and foxes.

12. Shawnee

Shawnee National Forest is situated in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills in Southern Illinois. It covers a total area of 280,000 acres. Its forest headquarters are located in Harrisburg. Shawnee was declared a national forest by President Roosevelt in 1939. The forest has a lot of hardwood trees. The softwood trees in the forest were planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The pines in the forest were planted to help reduce soil erosion. There are also a number of rock formations in the forest. Hiking and camping are some of the popular activities in the forest.

11. Huron-Manistee

The Huron National Forest and the Manistee National Forest were merged in 1945 for administration purposes. The forests are located in Michigan and have numerous lakes and rivers. It is a natural habitat for terrestrial animals and fish. The Huron-Manistee National Forest offers a recreational center for tourists. Canoeing and fishing are popular activities in the forest. The Lumberman’s Monument located in the forest is also a top tourist attraction.

10. Hiawatha

Hiawatha National Forest is situated on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It covers an area of 894,836 acres of land. The forest is divided in two portions; the Westside and the Eastside. Both portions border Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The forest is a habitat for many wild animals such as the Timberwolves, red foxes, river otters, black bears, and coyotes. Camping is the most popular tourist activity in this forest with several designated camping sites in the forest.

9. Ottawa

The Ottawa National Forest is situated in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The 993,010 acre forest stretches from the southern shores of Lake Superior to the Wisconsin Border. The forest has diverse wild animals, lakes, and waterfalls that are major tourist attractions. Logging is a significant activity in the forest. Endowed by quite a large number of water bodies, the forest is a popular destination for canoeing, fishing, and kayaking.

8. Wayne

The Wayne National Forest is situated in the southeastern region of the Ohio State. It is located between the Plains and Nelsonville in the Allegheny Plateau. Many of the trees in the forest were planted as a reforestation program. A lot of pine trees and other softwood species were planted to help reduce erosion in the region. The forest has trails for hiking, bike riding, and horse racing. Camping is also popular in the Wayne National Forest.

7. Hoosier

Hoosier National Forest is situated on the hilly terrain of southern Indiana. The forest covers a total of 203,627 acres. Sundance Lake, which covers 5.3 acres of the forest is popular for canoeing. The forest has both hardwood and softwood trees. It is also home to wild animals. Some of the most popular tourist destinations in the forest include Lick Creek Settlement, Jacob Rickenbaugh House, and Potts Creek Rockshelter Archaeological Site. Also, the forest has an excellent trail system used for horse-riding, mountain riding, and hiking.

6. Black Hills

The Black Hills National Forest is situated in northeastern Wyoming and southwestern South Dakota. It covers a total area of 1.25 million acres. The majority of the trees in this forest are ponderosa pine. Besides, there are also hardwood trees such as aspen, birch and bur oak in the forest. Elk, black bears, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats are some of the popular wild animals that can be found in the forest. The tallest mountain in South Dakota, the Black Elk Peak, is located within Black Hills. Apart from the scenic sites and flora and fauna of the forest, camping and sport fishing are popular activities in this forest.

5. Mark Twain

The Mark Twain National Forest is located in the southern part of Missouri. The forest covers a total area of 3.068 million acres of land. Pines and oaks are the dominant species of trees in the forest.The Greer Spring, the largest spring in a national forest is located in this forest. Other popular tourist attraction in the forest include the Glade Top Trail National Scenic Byway, which offers a panoramic view of over 48 kilometers. The Ozark Trail system winding through the forest is a popular hiking destination. Kayaking is popular, especially in the Saint Francis River in the Silver Mines Recreation Area.

4. Nebraska

The Nebraska National Forest covers a total area of 141,864 acres. The Bessey Nursery, which is part of the forest, is included in the National Registry of Historic Places. The nursery produces over 2.5 million seedlings annually. Part of the forest was once recognized as the largest human-planted forest. The forest has vast grasslands and hardwood trees too. The Nebraska National Forest is mainly visited for research and learning purposes. However, it hosts a number of attraction sites such as the wild animals and the historic Charles Bessey Nursery.

3. Samuel R. McKelvie

The Samuel R McKelvie National Forest is situated in north-central sand hills of Nebraska. It covers a total area of 116,079 acres and is composed of vast grasslands and pine forests. Most of the trees in the forest were planted by humans. Some of the most popular trees in the forest include the eastern juniper, Scots pine and the ponderosa pine. The forest is also a habitat to wild animals such as coyotes, foxes, hawks, white-tailed deer and pronghorn. Camping, hiking and watching the wild animals are activites which attract tourists to the forest.

2. Chippewa

The Chippewa National Forest is situated in North Central Minnesota. The entire forest covers a total area of 666,623 acres and has over 1,000 lakes with many streams and rivers. Some of the dominant tree species in the forest are the aspen, birch, balsam fir, maples, and pine trees. The forest is also a home to wild animals such as woodpecker, red squirrels and weasels. The Lost Forty is a top tourist destination in the Chippewa National Forest. The area has trees that are over 350 years old. The forest offers diverse recreational opportunities to tourists. Some of the popular activities in the forest include canoeing, hiking, camping, and scenery watching.

1. Superior

The Superior National Forest is situated in Arrowhead Region of Minnesota on the northern shore of Lake Superior, between the border of the United States and Canada. Part of the forest is located on the Canadian Shield. It occupies an area of 3.9 million acres. Most parts of the forest is covered with woodlands and water bodies. It has around 2,000 lakes. The forest has several species of conifers such as the spruce, fir and pine trees. The deciduous species in the forest include paper birch, oaks, aspen, maple, and mountain ash. It is also home to numerous bird and animal species.

About the Author

John Misachi is a seasoned writer with 5+ years of experience. His favorite topics include finance, history, geography, agriculture, legal, and sports. 


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