What better way to stay fit while travelling than a marvellous trekking expedition through “uncharted territory”? Well, the whole world is pretty much charted, but you get what we’re saying.
Nowadays, many peoples’ “trekking” involves mostly the following:
Obviously, there are some variations, but that’s the gist of it. It’s good to get out once in a while and rediscover the feeling you got as a kid, exploring a forest for the first time. Seeing how many mushrooms you could gather before your parents scolded you for touching poisonous ones. ☺ If you too want to recapture that experience, then exploring the following eight forests from around the world will surely be worth your time.
#1 Te Anau, New Zealand
New Zealand is the perfect country for a trekking expedition. With such a stunning diversity of landforms, beautiful coastal areas, and even fjords on the Southern island, you will find it difficult to resist its magic.
In fact, the directors of the “Lord of the Rings” series couldn’t resist it either. Plenty of locations throughout the country have become filming locations for the movie series, including Te Anau forest. Fiordland National Park’s rich vegetation, lush waterfalls, and all-around dreamy atmosphere will make you fall in love with the land.
#2 Crooked Forest, Poland
From our native Poland, the Crooked Forest (which is more of a grove, now that we think about it) continues to raise questions about how the trees got their famous curvature. In fact, if you tilt your head slightly while looking at pictures of the forest, it almost seems like the trees are inverted question marks.
Whatever the reason for this phenomenon, there is no doubt that you’ll have fun breezing through the area. When you get tired of exploring, you can always use some of the bigger pine trees as an all-natural hammock.
#3 Black Forest, Germany
At over 160 km, you could spend your whole holiday on a trekking expedition, exploring every nook and cranny of the Black Forest. It is a favourite among hikers in Germany and around the world, as well as bikers going down the southern hills of the forest.
Most of all, it’s a prime skiing location and the oldest one in Germany for that matter. The cozy towns of Freiburg in Breisgau and Baden-Baden are also worth visiting. The latter is a spa town surrounded by many hot springs, which have been used for relaxing baths since at least Roman times. Perfect relaxation occasion after an arduous journey in this huge forest.
#4 Olympic National Park, Washington, USA
If you set your mind for a trekking expedition through the U.S., you really can’t miss the rich rainforests of Olympic National Park. From its snow-capped mountains to its deep blue and crystal clear lakes, down to the nearby beaches, you simply cannot find a more enchanting place for a hike.
It even has a place called Enchanted Valley to prove our point. Beware the bears in the area, though. They too like to trek the area in search of fish and unwary travellers who didn’t bring a bear canister along.
#5 Gorbea Natural Park, Spain
If you thought the Crooked Forest looked spooky, wait till you get a good look at the mossy forests of Gorbea. It is as if an entire people were suddenly turned to trees, with their branches reaching up towards the sky.
Fairy tales aside, the Basque country forests are truly spectacular. Hikers will also enjoy the multitude of crags, depressions, and other rocky formations in Mount Gorbeia. Explorers will also be drawn to the never-ending galleries of Mairulegorreta Cave.
#6 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, USA
When people think of Hawaii, they dream of sandy beaches, palm trees, surfing, ukuleles, luau nights, volcanoes, hula dancers, and many others. Who would have thought it’s also a great place for a trekking expedition?
But the soil around Kilauea Volcano allows for wild jungles to grow, filled with tree fern and many ohia trees scattered about. They stand in sharp contrast with the relatively desolate areas covered in volcanic ash and molten lava. The scenery would make for quite an interesting painting, a fight between life and death.
#7 Paimpont Forest, France
The medieval castles of France are not the only ones who hold legendary stories. If you’re up for a trekking expedition filled with myth and wonder, then Paimpont Forest in Brittany is the place to visit. If you’re familiar with the tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, you’ve probably heard of the Brocéliande forest.
Local folklore has it that the tree in which the wizard Merlin was imprisoned by the Lady of the Lake can be seen around these parts. We wouldn’t mind if this were true. At least you can catch a glimpse of what is purported to be Merlin’s tomb, and do some rock climbing in the meantime.
8. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
Agness was super excited to visit Zhangjiajie back in 2011, and with good reason. Not because it was one of the filming locations of “Avatar” (though the actual scenery is more breathtaking than what the movie shows). But because the serene location is the perfect spot to forget all about your daily problems and just enjoy the view.
The towering stone pillars and the incredibly dense foliage in the area makes this the dream of every photographer. Don’t miss the chance to walk over the world’s tallest glass bridge – be careful not to look down if you have height sickness.
For those of you looking for a bit more adrenaline, try zip lining and bungee jumping on-site. It’s quite a fantastic experience being able to ride over the green canyons without a care in the world. When you’re not drifting away through the forests of “Pandora,” feel free to journey through the colourful caverns of Huang Long Cave as well.