There is nowhere you can get in touch with nature more deeply than when exploring a forest. The following offer some amazing and sometimes bizarre trees and one is famous for its soundscape too.
Crooked Forest – Poland
The aptly named Crooked Forest in the small town of Gryfino, is a bizarre scene of around 400 twisted pines that grow at a 90 degree slant. They were planted in the 1930s but how the trees became this way, no-one knows. Some say that they were designed to grow this way to create construction material and was simply abandoned after the war. Or was it just a case of bad snowstorm that pushed the trunks in to this position? Strangely they are enveloped by trees that stand tall and straight.
Black Forest – Germany
The largest forest in Germany and the setting of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales and with looming rich green evergreens, and vast mountains, the Black Forest has more than just impressive trees going for it. Peppered with picturesque spa towns, thermal baths and vineyards, and if that wasn’t enough there are waterfalls, lakes and ancient stone bridges to discover. The sweeping valleys are imposing when the cloud draws in, but this is one place that looks great all year round, no matter the weather.
Sagano Bamboo Forest – Japan
Head to the Arashiyama district in western Tokyo, on the outskirts of Kyto, early to enjoy the amazing scene of green bamboos that reach for the sky. This is also heralded as a famous soundscape created the eery creaking and rustling sound they make as they collide and twist evertime a wind blows. The sound created by this bamboo forest is included in a list of 100 Soundscapes of Japan.
Hallerbos Forest – Belgium
Known as ‘The Blue Forest’ for its colourful carpet of Bluebells and featuring giant Sequoia trees, this picture-perfect forest sits between Zenne and Zonien. Catch them in all their glory around mid-April when it gets popular with visitors. Most of the old trees here were removed by occupying German forces in World War 1, and reforestation brought it back to life.
Lake Kaindy – Kazakhstan
Eerie and beautiful, this fascinating forest is the result of an earthquake that took place in 1911. The incident formed a dam, trapping the pines in rainwater ever since. Why haven’t they rotted away? The water is very cold, helping to preserve the roots that live underwater. It makes for an interesting vista and enjoyed by ice divers. As the surface freezes over in winter, the area becomes popular with ice fishing groups too.
Avenue of Baobabs – Madagascar
These Baobab trees look like they may have been imagined by a 5-year old who drew them to be huge and out of proportion. The artist would have been prolific as they are all over Madagascar. Also known as the Alley of the Baobabs the grove lets you get up close with a road running right through it. This clutch of 20 or so 800 year old trees are over 30 metres high. People look tiny next to them. The most impressive fact has to be how they can hold 32,000 gallons of water, helping to defy drought conditions.
Gardens by the Bay – Singapore
Could this be the forest of the future? Located in an urban setting this just might be a great solution to protecting wildlife and plant growth. This forest is made up of 18 man-made structures shaped like trees, standing at 25 to 50 metres tall. They are vertical gardens which visitors can walk amongst on an aerial walkway. Over 162,000 plants cover these structures which come alive at night with lights and sounds.