National forests are found all throughout the United States, with the exception of just a handful of states that don’t have their own national forests. Similar to national parks, these areas are protected and managed by the US Forest Service. There is no admission fee to visit a national forest, and they can typically be used in a similar format to Bureau of Land Management land. Each national forest has its own set of rules and regulations to follow, whether you’re visiting for a day or camping.
For some RVers, a national forest may not be a destination they’ve considered visiting. Maybe you’ve passed by one, or seen them on a map in your state or near a national park. If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy nature more, then a national forest can be just the ticket. They’re affordable places to camp and are very shaded due to the trees, so the temperatures can be more comfortable than other areas. We’ve put together a list of some great national forests in the northern states and Harvest Hosts locations nearby. Get ready as we tell you how you can enjoy each one of these forests.
Allegheny National Forest: Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s only national forest, Allegheny spans across half a million acres. Between all the opportunities for water sports, winter recreation, and hunting, there’s so much to do. Guests can also hike or boat into tent camping sites.
CJ Spirits – Kane, PA
This craft distillery uses local grains and mountain spring water to produce their vodkas, gins, rums, and whiskeys. They offer free tastings and even have happy hour. This Harvest Hosts location offers three pet-friendly sites for RVs up to forty-four feet in length.
Bear Creek Wines – Kane, PA
This family-owned winery produces a variety of whites, reds, and fruit wines. They’ve also started selling wine smoothies to help visitors to beat the heat. They regularly host both live music events and paint and sip events. This Harvest Hosts location offers four pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Huron and Manistee National Forests: Michigan
The Huron-Manistee National Forest is located between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The forest encompasses nearly one million acres. Here, visitors gain access to beaches, fishing, hiking, OHV riding, picnicking, boating, swimming, and much more.
Out of the Woodworks – Township of Branch, MI
While visiting a national forest, why not grab some local woodworking art? This Host handcrafts artisan wood décor, and, here, visitors are sure to find something perfect for their RV or home. This Harvest Hosts location offers two sites for RVs under forty-four feet in length.
Harvest Village – Leroy, MI
Owners Dan and Arlene set the bar high with hospitality. Their farm produces fruits and vegetables, eggs, wool, and more, all available for purchase. They also run a bed and breakfast if you’d prefer to stay there while exploring the nearby national forest. This Harvest Hosts location offers two pet-friendly sites for RVs under thirty-five feet in length.
Grand Valley Bottle Babies Wildlife Rescue – Hart, MI
This incredible rescue works to rehabilitate wildlife in need. From newborn critters to injured adults, they do it all with the goal of releasing the animals into their natural habitats. They’ve cared for raccoons, deer, opossums, foxes, and more. This Harvest Hosts location offers three pet-friendly sites for RVs up to forty-four feet in length.
Chequamegon and Nicolet National Forests: Wisconsin
This protected area spans over 1.5 million acres of water and woodland. Here, many visitors enjoy paddling or boating, scenic drives, horseback riding, and more in this beautiful forested area.
Chequamegon Adventure Company – Woodruff, WI
Located a short distance from lakes and trails, this company sells and rents outdoor gear. If you forgot your canoe, paddleboard, or bike at home, be sure to pay them a visit to have the most fun in the nearby national forest. This Harvest Hosts location offers three pet-friendly sites for RVs up to forty-four feet in length.
Custer Gallatin National Forest: Montana
Custer Gallatin National Forest encompasses over three million acres and is critical to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The forest itself is home to over fifty campgrounds and picnicking areas for guests to enjoy. The area is also great for winter recreation such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and more.
Sentinel Ranch Alpacas – Roberts, MT
This alpaca farm specializes in all things alpaca! From their AlpacaLand store to tours of the ranch, or even viewings of their large herds with tons of new babies every year, you’re sure to learn something new. This Harvest Hosts location offers fifteen pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Wild Bison Ranch – Bridger, MT
Get ready to feel like part of the Wild West with a trip to Wild Bison Ranch. This friendly family-owned farm sells bison meat and products and has llamas as well. They offer two pet-friendly sites for RVs up to thirty-five feet in length.
Helena and Lewis and Clark National Forests: Montana
This national forest covers 2.8 million acres of public land that even includes the Continental Divide. Because of the mountainous terrain, this area is great for both hiking and backpacking.
Spring Wheat Acres – Clancy, MT
This family-owned farm specializes in Agricultural Literacy and enjoys sharing their knowledge with all guests and visitors. They have a wonderful garden and orchard that allows them to sell fruits, jams, syrups, baked goods, and more. This Harvest Hosts location has three pet-friendly sites for RVs up to thirty feet in length.
KJ’n Ranch and Sheep Mountain Creamery – Helena, MT
Those interested in cow milk alternatives or those that just want to learn more about sheep should pay this ranch a visit. Guests can purchase a two-hour-long tour of the facility that includes a cheese tasting, or they can purchase products directly. Please note that this location is cash only, and pets must be kept near your RV. This Harvest Hosts location offers four pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Flathead National Forest: Montana
Located near Flathead Lake and tucked away in the Rocky Mountains of Montana lies Flathead National Forest. Within the national forest, there are several other notable lakes and rivers that provide excellent canoeing or whitewater rafting opportunities. The mountains make for incredible hiking or skiing as well.
Trixi Saloon – Ovando, MT
Trixi’s is a restaurant and saloon that is a local favorite. It is located within close proximity to town and nearby outdoor recreation. Here, they serve Montana beers, local beef, and homemade pies. This Harvest Hosts location offers two pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Blackfoot Commercial Co – Ovando, MT
It’s always so neat when small towns have more than one Harvest Hosts location, allowing guests a minimum two-night stay without having to miss out on local experiences. Blackfoot Commercial Co is a local staple. It’s a general store, gas station, and tiny motel all in one. Here, you can stock up on everything you need to explore the nearby national forest. This Harvest Hosts location offers two pet-friendly sites for RVs up to thirty feet in length.
Kaniksu National Forest: Idaho
Located on the Idaho Panhandle, this national forest is usually lumped in with the Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe National Forests to make up the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The entire area is known for its gorgeous lakes and rivers. Visitors love boating, swimming, fishing, and tubing throughout.
Grumpy Chicken Farm – Sandpoint, ID
This family owned operation is a u-pick flower farm. Here, visitors can pick flowers or purchase bouquets, herbs, produce, and more. This Harvest Hosts location offers five pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Wallowa and Whitman National Forests: Oregon and Idaho
This expansive national forest encompasses 2.4 million acres of alpine peaks, grasslands, canyons, and conifer forests. Forest rangers encourage visitors to take a few hikes, check out scenic vistas, or just enjoy nature year round.
Copper Belt Wines – Baker City, OR
This quaint, family-owned winery uses all local Oregon grapes for their wines. They produce a variety of whites, reds, rosé, and sparkling wines. This location offers three pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size.
Almosta Farm at Cove – Cove, OR
This little farm has a lot to offer with its dwarf goats, chickens, organic produce, honey bees, and more. The best way to support this host is by purchasing any of the incredible goods from their shop, including candles and other beeswax products. This Harvest Hosts location offers one pet-friendly site for RVs up to thirty feet in length.
Siuslaw National Forest: Oregon
The Siuslaw National Forest encompasses the magic of Oregon’s mountainous forests to its rugged coast. This national forest has some unique things to do, from spectacular mountain views to beach combing, from whale watching to exploring the forest or dunes.
Old World Gingerbread Village – Mapleton, OR
This family-style restaurant is a local favorite. Not only do they specialize in homemade gingerbread products, but they also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Come fill your belly before or after a day in the nearby national forest. This Harvest Hosts location offers three pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Rogue River and Siskiyou National Forests: Oregon and California
This national forest spans an impressive 1.8 million acres from southern Oregon to northern California. It ranges from the Cascades Range, west into the Siskiyou Mountains, and includes southern portions of the Coastal Range, extending nearly to the Pacific Ocean. There are many impressive areas to explore, but visitors should be sure to make time for some hiking, windsurfing, climbing, or a scenic drive depending on their preferences.
Augustino Estate LLC – O’Brien, OR
Augustino Estate Vineyard offers a tasting room in a treehouse, producing a variety of whites, reds, rosé, and sparkling wines. This Harvest Hosts location has three pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Aranaway Farm – Grants Pass, OR
This large, scenic farm specializes in raising registered Morgan horses, while also offering riding lessons, farm tours, and fresh flowers. If you’re lucky, you might visit during a time when foals have recently been born. This Harvest Hosts location offers five pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
Uinta, Wasatch, and Cache National Forests: Utah and Wyoming
Covering an impressive 2.2 million acres, this national forest sees 9 million annual visitors, making it one of the most popular national forests. Despite having cities nearby, visiting this forest still feels like visiting the wilderness, and it has an impressive backcountry.
Cloudy Owl Farm – Heber City, UT
Cloudy Owl Farm offers stunning views. They’re situated in the perfect location for incredible sights of Mt. Timpanogos, and they specialize in growing flowers, produce, and harvesting honey, but also in raising horses, goats, ducks, chickens, and more. This Harvest Hosts location offers one pet-friendly site for RVs up to thirty-five feet in length.
Pear Tree Llamas – Midway, UT
The Partridges raise and show award-winning llamas that produce high-quality fibers. The best way to support this host is by purchasing any of their llama products. This Harvest Hosts location offers one site for an RV under thirty-five feet in length.
Dixie National Forest: Utah
This national forest is situated between the Great Basin and the Colorado River in southern Utah, spanning across almost two million acres. The scenery here ranges from desert canyon gorges of amber, rose, and sienna to high mountain forests, plateaus, and alpine lakes. Visitors enjoy some of the prime fishing and hunting spots, horseback riding, and winter sports.
Red Acre Farm – Cedar City, UT
This farm is the product of an incredible story. Wanting to escape Los Angeles, two parents brought their daughter, Sara, to Utah where she fell in love with the idea of farming. As a teen, she single-handedly farmed produce, raised animals, expanded the farm, started a community-supported agriculture program, and founded the first Utah Farm & Food Conference. She still stays busy today running the Red Acre Farm and has even expanded to provide farm kitchen offerings. This Harvest Hosts location has one space for an RV under thirty-five feet in length.
White River National Forest: Colorado
Within its two million acres, White River National Forest visitors will find eleven ski resorts, ten peaks over 14,000 feet, and plenty to do. Fall through Spring offers an excellent time for winter sports, while the summer months give way to incredible hiking, camping, fishing, and scenic driving opportunities.
Stoneyard Distillery – Dotsero, CO
The Stoneyard Distillery uses Colorado beet sugar and water from the Rockies to produce their spirits. Currently, they produce a great variety of spirits, and even sell bitters, shooters, and merch, as well. This Harvest Hosts location offers fifteen pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size.
San Juan National Forest: Colorado
Covering 1.8 million acres of southwestern Colorado, San Juan National Forest visitors can enjoy scenery ranging from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks. No matter what time of year you visit, there are tons of opportunities for recreation available. A few examples include hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, alpine and Nordic skiing, horseback riding and camping.
Mancos Brewing Company – Mancos, CO
Get ready to sample some microbrews ranging from pale ales to dark ales and red lagers. For a lighter experience, Mancos Brewing Comapny also produces hard seltzers as well. Nothing pairs better with beer than food, so they also offer pizzas, salads, appetizers, and other great dishes. This Harvest Hosts location has two pet-friendly sites available for RVs under thirty feet in length.
Visiting a national forest warrants more than just a quick drive-by. These expansive areas are teeming with fun opportunities, with some even allowing free RV camping. Any of the Harvest Hosts locations on this list could make a great basecamp from which to explore the nearby national forests, and you’ll surely meet some new folks along the way. Not enough options nearby? Consider adding Boondockers Welcome for thousands of additional overnight stays all across North America.
Where are you heading this summer, and what’s your favorite national forest? Which national forests on this list have you visited? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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