If the old adage “April showers brings May flowers” puts your focus on the rain versus the flowers, you might be interested in learning a little bit about the rainforests on the US mainland. Different from those found near the equator, which are considered tropical rainforests, those found in the US are considered temperate rainforests. The difference between a tropical rainforest and a temperate rainforest is the amount of rainfall. A tropical rainforest experiences high amounts of rainfall year-round, while a temperate rainforest is more seasonal.
Olympic National Park: Located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, the Park is actually home to four temperate rainforests. Hoh Rainforest averages about 14 feet of rain per year. There are several ways to explore the lush beauty of this rainforest, but two good ways are the Hall of Mosses Trail and the Spruce Nature Trail, two short trails. The Quinault Rainforest is home to the largest Sitka Spruce, estimated to be about 1000 years old! The popular ½ mile interpretive trail is a great way to experience Quinault. Bogachiel, which comes from the rough Indian translation for “gets muddy after rain” is a bit more remote than Hoh and Quinault, but a hike can be accomplished via the Ira Spring Wetland Trail. The fourth rainforest in the Park is Queets, which is rarely hiked and the most remote.
Appalachian Rainforest: Second to the Pacific Northwest in terms of average annual rainfall, the Appalachian Rain Forest receives about 100 inches of rain each year. Similar to Olympic National Park, the area is home to more than one rainforest. A visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Pisgah National Forest will set you amid the amazing rainforests in the Appalachians. Cool streams, mossy surfaces, and lots of waterfalls await. Pisgah National Forest is about 23 miles from Asheville, North Carolina, which is home to Forest Lake RV Campground.
Mt. Rainier – Carbon River Rainforest: This inland temperate rainforest can receive up to 90 inches of rainfall each year. Fern, lichens and low-hanging moss are visible and are just a few of the sights you’ll see here. Explore it via the Carbon River Rainforest Trail, 0.3-mile trail loop.
Redwood National Forest: California’s Redwood Forest is probably most known for its towering redwood trees, but it is also one of the US’s most famous rainforests. The giant redwoods benefit from the moist air in this temperate rainforest and are actually dependent upon the coastal fog for survival.