These world-famous trees are some of nature’s most remarkable living things and hiking to any of them would be worth its weight in gold.
Here are ten of the best reasons to don a backpack and set your sights on the trail. Some of these world-famous trees live in easily-accessible places and some of them you’ll have to work for. Some are the tallest, and some are ancient, but they all have a personality of their own.
Hikers are some of the best planners out there. People who spend much of their free time in the woods and on the trail have a knack for knowing how to get there.
In the event that you can’t make it to see one of these amazing living-leviathans up close, we’ve brought them here to you.
1. Bristlecone Pine
Somewhere in the Inyo National Forest in California, at 10,000 feet above sea level, there lives what may be the world’s oldest living tree: a bristlecone pine named Methuselah. Estimated at 5,000 years old, this tree is hidden in the White Mountains somewhere known only to forest rangers.
2. Coast Redwood
The tallest living coast redwood was discovered in 2006 by two intrepid explorers of the Redwood National Park in California. Given the name Hyperion, this cunning gargantuan found a way to grow on an incline so you’ll have to climb a hill before you even think about ascending a tree that is, ahem, 379 feet tall.
3. Horse Chestnut
If you ever find yourself near Mount Etna in Sicily, look for the Hundred Horse Chestnut; the oldest chestnut tree known to man. At one time it had a girth of 190 feet so you’ll have another hike to get around it once you get there.
At an elevation of over 4,000 feet, Japan’s old growth forest on Yakushima Island holds the largest conifer on the home islands: Jomon Sugi. Be prepared because the hike in is at least four hours both ways.
5. Montezuma Cypress
Oaxaca, Mexico is home to a tree that is only 37 feet tall, but a whopping 119 feet around. El Arbol del Tule, as it is known, lives in a courtyard of the church in Santa Maria del Tule which is a short hike from your hotel.
385 years after John Endicott planted the Endicott Pear tree, it is still bearing fruit. One of the first fruit trees planted in America in the Bay Colony, Massachusetts it can still be seen with fruit on its branches by passers-by.
Should you happen to find yourself in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka look for the Jaya Sri Maha Bodi. Here it is said that the Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment. Considered sacred by Buddhists, it is one of the oldest living trees ever planted by the human race.
8. Quaking Aspen
Considered the oldest living thing on earth, the Pando aspen colony may be as much as 80,000 years old. The state of Utah is one of the most friendly to hikers the world over and this plot of trees is one of the most photographed organisms that live. At 6,615 tons it is also the heaviest living thing on earth.
9. Norway Spruce
The Fulufjället Mountains in Sweden hold a tree known as Old Tjikko. It is the oldest single-stemmed clonal tree in existence having the same roots system that it had when it started growing over 9,500 years ago.
10. Giant Sequoia
The General Sherman residing in California’s Sequoia National Park is a giant at 275 feet tall, but its estimated volume of over 52,000 cubic feet makes it one of the most massive trees in the world. By the way, it’s a great hike to get there.
These ten extraordinary, world-famous trees can’t be appreciated until they are seen up close, but seeing them here is the next best thing. Hikers know that the best things in life are seen in person and take a little effort to get to.
Here are ten reasons to plan an excursion to your nearby trail and see what nature left behind for us to enjoy. Get the hiking boots back on your feet and remember what they are for.