Forests have always been a part of the history, folklore and culture in each corner of the world. They are not only an ecological haven, but their mysterious nature lures people to get enchanted by their majestic beauty. As Robert Frost said, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.” Let’s take a walk down the most captivating and unique forests overflowing with biodiversity.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Japan
Perched in the Arashiyama district in Kyoto, this well-preserved bamboo grove provides a glimpse of the underlying beauty of nature’s simple yet complex creations. The gleaming environment of tall bamboo stalks that rustle in the wind creates an actual 4k surround sound, which echoes an enchanting musical experience. The natural tunnel that is created allows the visitors to walk beneath the sky with speckles of bamboo green all around. Besides this, you can also hop onto the Sagano Bamboo Train for more stellar views and even visit the Tenryu-ji Temple and the Nonomiya Shrine close by.
Black Forest, Germany
This forest serves as the setting for many fairytales by the Brothers Grimm. The dark and deep forest is not actually black in colour but because of its scary and eerie demeanour, since light cannot even penetrate the thick canopy of trees. The forest is enveloped with thousands of pine trees that stand like silent sentinels who have witnessed the ebb and flow of time. Besides this, the forest also has many villages with medieval architecture, along with a host of natural thermal springs spread across the terrain.
Redwood National and State Parks, USA
This sprawling National Park is quite famous for being enriched with the tallest trees in the world. You can actually walk among giants here as it is the largest contiguous old-growth coastal redwood forest, with the tallest tree being about 380 feet tall. Painted with nature’s mastery, the unparalleled beauty of this place makes you want to soak in the mosaic of these towering groves with light and shadow playing the game of cat and mouse.
Hallerbos Forest, Belgium
This magical forest is reminiscent of the lullabies of fairies, gnomes and magic with its dreamlike quality. More popular for its thick cover of bluebell flowers rather than its array of trees, Hallerbos Forest is the personification of William Wordsworth’s masterpiece ‘Daffodils’, whose comparison of a ‘sea of flowers evoking utmost joy’ serves true of this place. In close proximity to Brussels, a springtime visit is a must when the flowers bloom in full swing; the only drawback is that it can become very crowded during this time.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
An inspiration to the blockbuster movie, ‘Avatar’, this National Forest Park is distinctly known for its towering pillar-like rocks, which seem unbelievable and out of this world. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it also has many hidden valleys as well as gushing waterfalls and plunging ravines. You can get a bird’s eye view of the whole park, and it is also home to rare species like the clouded leopard and the giant salamander. You can even visit Tianmen Mountain, which sits emblematically over this forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
It is considered to be ‘impenetrable’ by the government, with it being a biological hotspot having more than 160 varied species of trees and 100 species of ferns. Besides this, the forest covers 32,000 hectares of land and is the only home to the endangered mountain gorilla. Its dense vegetation, misty atmosphere, rolling hills, and unruly terrain make it solidify the fact of being truly unpassable. Here, every rustling leaf, every trickling brook, and every towering trunk is a testimony of the powerful force of nature in all its form and glory.