By Michelle Werts

This week in history, five of our states officially joined the United States:

  • Georgia (1/2/1788)
  • Connecticut (1/9/1788)
  • Utah (1/4/1896)
  • New Mexico (1/6/1912)
  • Alaska (1/3/1959).

In celebration, I wanted to share some of the forested beauty that you can experience in each.

Our fourth state contains two national forests: Oconee and Chattahoochee National Forests, which includes the popular Anna Ruby Falls.

Dockery Lake in Chattahoochee National Forest
Dockery Lake in Chattahoochee National Forest. Credit: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Our fifth state isn’t home to any national forests, but the famous Appalachian Trail crosses its boundaries, and dozens of state parks contain breathtaking vistas.

Kent Falls State Park
Kent Falls State Park. Credit: BillAndKent/Flickr

Our 45th state boasts five national forests — Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-La Sal and Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests — in addition to its five national parks, which contrast the stark beauty of the state’s rock formations and desert climate with lush flora.

Manti-La Sal National Forest
Manti-La Sal National Forest. Credit: Dave Merrill (Utah~Dave AA7IZ)/Flickr


New Mexico
Our 47th state finds itself with five national forests — Carson, Cibola, Gila, Lincoln and Santa Fe National Forests — and three national grasslands, representing the state’s diverse landscape.

Santa Fe National Forest
Santa Fe National Forest. Credit: TaylorAndAyumi/Flickr

Our 49th state may only have two national forests in quantity — Chugach and Tongass National Forests — but when it comes to sheer land mass, they’re huge: Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the U.S. at 17 million acres.

Aerial view of the Mendenhall Glacier in Tongass National Forest
Aerial view of the Mendenhall Glacier in Tongass National Forest. Credit: Judy Malley (ShootsNikon)/Flickr

What are your favorite forestlands in each of these states?