The fall has always been my favorite season. Maybe because it means winter is coming — I love the snow — or because the memories are still fresh from a great summer, or because of the reminder of the cycle that will start up again, come spring…Truth be told, I love all the seasons, and have trouble choosing a favorite. But just like lunch is one of my three favorite meals, fall is definitely in my top four seasons.
Having grown up in New England, fall is my most nostalgic season, evocative of crisp autumn days spent playing soccer, picking apples, stacking firewood, raking leaves and hiking in the woods. My love of the fall is deeply rooted in the forests I’ve explored and the memories of colors, smells and chills as the days get shorter and the first frosts make brittle paper of the fallen leaves.
As with the seasons, I have trouble picking my favorite forests. Admittedly, I am partial to the magical cathedrals of the redwoods and giant sequoia; but I was wandering among the spruce-fir of Maine, the sugar maple of New Hampshire and the aspens of the Rockies before I ever saw a redwood tree.
So I’m hoping you can help share your favorite forest, in any season. Where can you remember a moment in the woods where you felt most alive? Where did you explore with your family on your first camping trip? Where did you see a view across the forested horizon that has never left you?
Check out this USA Today piece on my top ten forests in the U.S., and let me know if any of these make your list.