By Katrina Marland

Yesterday, the state of Michigan celebrated its 175th birthday — it joined the Union on January 26, 1837. Around half this state is covered with forest, about 19 million acres of it. With that amount of forest coverage, it isn’t surprising that Michigan boasts a crazy number of state and national parks and forests. It lays claim to three national forests: Hiawatha, Huron-Manistee and Ottawa, all of which are fantastic for hiking, camping, and especially canoeing, and fishing. They are in lake country, after all.

Benton Lake, Huron-Manistee National Forest (Credit: NickW252)


Just one day after the state’s birthday, Ottawa National Forest celebrates a birthday of its own: it was officially declared a national forest on January 27, 1931. Ottawa contains three different wilderness areas with more than 50,000 acres total, so is a great place to find remote, untouched pockets of forest.

The Sylvania Wilderness in Ottawa National Forest (Credit: U.S. Forest Service)


Kansas will also be celebrating its statehood soon, with its 151st birthday this Sunday. It was admitted into the Union on January 19, 1861. Kansas isn’t exactly the place for forests, being smack in the middle of the Great Plains, but everybody deserves a shout-out for their birthday, so in their honor we share this photo of a beautiful cottonwood, the official state tree of Kansas.

(Credit: Mike Pedroncelli)