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The Giving Trees: Enchanted Forests

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Maybe it's the hush of the leaves or the the crack of my foot onto started twigs that leads me to believe I'm being "announced" into the forest. That my entry is now known to all the fairies and sprites and creatures watching from under brush, behind trees, and in the canopies. The term "enchanted" only seems applicable to forests, where the trees stand like sentries guarding a magical place.
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Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
In western Kyoto, there is a very large forest of bamboo. As you can see in the photo, the shoots grow very tall, making those who stroll by look quite small. I'm sure there are times when this road is crowded, but when we were there, people were...
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Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA, USA
In Los Angeles, the cliché is that people drive one block to get a soda. But there are lots of staircases hidden in the hills of L.A. In Silver Lake, I like a two-and-a-half mile loop of stairs known as the Music Box. Parts remind me of...
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Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
On my recent road trip through the provinces of Costa Rica, one of our stops was the Monteverde - Santa Elena cloud forest reserves in the province of Guanacaste. One of the most popular activities here is zip lining as you get to zip through and...
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The area known as King Country on the North Island of New Zealand remains one of the island's least populated areas. Dripping in dense foliage and riddled with a network of underground cave systems, this area was the final holdout of the Māori...
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Buizingen, 1501 Halle, Belgium
Hallerbos (Flemish) or Bois de Halle (French) is a beech forest just south of Brussels. It's a popular spot for walking, cycling and horseback-riding. Every spring, for a few short weeks, the forest makes a magical transformation into a blue...
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
Just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods National Monument, a 554-acre park; old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, cover 295 of those acres. Peaceful and lush, the forest is ideal for simply communing with...
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351 Pacu Ln #200, Bishop, CA 93514, USA
Walk amongst the oldest living things on the planet. It's eerie, a bit weird looking, and out of the way. Isn't that the way you like it? That's why I went. It's nice at night, as you can tell from the photo. The Patriarch Grove in the Ancient...
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Mount Liamuiga, St Kitts & Nevis
Gregory Pereira grew up on St. Kitts, and his hiking tours include stops at old sugar plantations, hidden caves, and other secret spots. He leads strenuous all-day hikes through the rain forest up to the top of Mt. Liamuiga. When hikers reach the...
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Marblemount, WA 98267, USA
It's about a ten-mile round-trip, but a summer hike up to Goat Lake in the Central Cascades will reward you with a glacially-colored mirror of snow-clad crags and distant waterfalls. An easy day-hike from Seattle (if you get up early), it's also...
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Quito, Ecuador
Book a suite at Mashpi Lodge and you can spot howler monkeys, sloths, butterflies, and hundreds of bird species from your Philippe Starck bathtub-with-a-view. Opened in April 2012 on the 3,000-acre Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve, the lodge has...
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RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Baobab trees, which grow up to 100 feet tall and 30 feet wide, carry a prehistoric grandeur worthy of their title as Madagascar’s national tree. Of the six ancient baobab species native to the African island, only the largest, the Adansonia...