Nature's Palette: A Trekker's Guide to Iranian Forests
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1965 was the year this beautiful forest was recognized for preserving and protecting its pristine nature and numerous animal species by national environmental organizations. This attention significantly highlighted the importance of this forest, leading to a greater appreciation of this “lung” in Mazandaran, Iran. Sisangan is among the best forest trekking routes in Iran. Many who love forest trails prioritize this natural park. The presence of ponds and large hidden lakes amidst Sisangan are among its extraordinary features. It’s worth mentioning that there are more species of box trees than we recognize, and the coastal and forested cover, and the combination of these two, have captivated many tourists to this day.
Located just 9 kilometers from the tourist city of Ramsar, there lies a multi-colored forest beside the ever-vibrant Safarood River, making it one of Iran’s most expansive forest trekking routes. Notably, when we think of forests, we might worry about a lack of amenities we’re accustomed to, but this isn’t the case with Safarood Forest Park in Mazandaran. With sanitation facilities, drinking water installations, and even beautiful wooden huts, it is easy and enjoyable for trekkers and leisure-seekers.
Indeed, as you pass over the greenery of this forest in the Namak Abrood cable car cabins, you’ve wondered why not traverse this beautiful forest on foot and enjoy it even more. Yes, the question is valid. Especially for anyone who has paid attention to this forest, renowned as the most beautiful in Mazandaran. While you’re passing over the Namak Abrood forest from a few tens of meters above, some trekkers, unseen to you, are hiking, and what they receive is the pure oxygen their lungs inhale. To get a general view of a forest that covers 200 hectares of Mazandaran’s green cover, one has to choose the Namak Abrood cable car. Since it’s also counted among Iran’s best forest trekking routes, it’s worth walking it at least once on foot.
You may have heard of the two-thousand and three-thousand forests, but perhaps not of Chaldereh Forest Park, which is adjacent to these two vast forests. This forest spans 94 hectares. As its name suggests, ancient remnants, such as castles, water reservoirs, and many other historical structures, can be observed. Chaldereh Forest is located 18 kilometers from Tonekabon and offers a very accessible and enjoyable route for forest trekkers. If you choose this path for your trek, you can also visit the Dasht-e Daryasar, the Khashkedaran wildlife, and the Ramsar hot springs nearby.
The interplay of sunlight and the thick, green leaves of the trees creates mesmerizing shadows that you might think only exist in adventurous movies. However, the beauty of this forest is undeniably natural. You may have heard of the Ab Pari waterfall. This waterfall is just a short distance from this forest, and it’s a beautiful destination to rejuvenate after a tiresome trek. To find the Chaldereh Forest Park, follow the forest route from Royan towards Baladeh.
This forest covers an area of 760 hectares and belongs to the village of Doronkelay-e Sharqi in Babol. The forest’s beauty is distinctive throughout all seasons, especially spring and summer. Natural springs, sustained by the ever-abundant underground aquifers of the forest, are among its notable attractions. Don’t worry about amenities; Babol Kenar Forest Park also has a supermarket and sanitary services scattered throughout the forest.
Another city in the Mazandaran province is Sari, home to Aroust Forest, one of Iran’s best forest trekking routes. Before being recognized as one of Iran’s most beautiful forests, Aroust was a unique treasure trove of tree species such as oak, yew, hornbeam, and toska. Many have sought to exploit these trees for their valuable trunks. Art is like a treasure chest, and as we enjoy its trekking routes, we must strive to preserve and protect it. We should realize that this forest and others mentioned are among our country’s irreplaceable natural resources. If destroyed, we will neither have enough time to replace them nor will it be possible at all.