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We will have to see for ourselves what old growth really is. On our journey, we will see numerous examples of old-growth attributes. We are going to the forests with the biggest trees we can find, and we are going to experience how full of life they are. But we are also going to look at the forests from the human perspective. We will discover who had the dream, who drew the line, who said “no” to the loggers.
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Although state boundaries are human-made political divisions and do not closely reflect the various forest bioregions, I have organized the blog by state to show that, no matter where you live in the East, there is an old- growth forest you can reach in a day. These are not excursions to the trackless wilderness; these are places almost anyone can go.
These are true stories. You may use them individually, as guides for places you’d like to visit, or take the whole journey with me from beginning to end. The astute reader will note that, as a result of organizing the chapters geographically, they are not in the order in which I visited the forests. If you would like to know the dates of my visits, I have included them in the reference notes, along with the Latin names of the species I discuss.
Some might wonder why I would want to share these places, why I would want to make it easier to find them. Besides the human instinct to share the best the world has to offer, I believe that, as more of us visit these places, more of us will understand what our landscape used to be, and more of us will make the effort to protect the ancient forests that remain. I want to see even more people out there on the shady paths, so more voices will speak out for the trees and the creatures that live among them.
Forests change even old-growth forests. On my journeys, I found myself hoping that we humans could change too, change in a way that would allow ancient trees to be a more common part of our landscape and make it even easier to walk among them.
Northwestern part of state, Winston County.
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