|The Town of Akureyri|
From Akureyri, we had to back track about twenty miles to find Laugalandsskogar Forest, which was #6 on our list . This forest used to be part of a farm: "Historical records from 1712 describe the farm as containing patches of forest suitable of fuelwood gathering, but not large enough for coal production." The forest has Lodgepole Pine (Christmas trees), Birch, Larch and Norway Spruce. Akureyri Junior College have adopted the forest providing some maintenance and forest expansion through the planting of trees. When Norsemen arrived in Iceland during the late 9th century, the forest consisted of mostly Birch (Betula pubescens), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), a rare Aspen (Populus tremula) and Willows (Salix phylicifolia). In the sheltered valleys, the Birch would reach heights of 50'. The fossil record shows that 3 million years ago, Iceland was warmer and covered with Sequoia, Magnolia, Sasssfras and Glytostrobus. Global warming could benefit Iceland's afforestation efforts.
Heading north we took a pit stop at Godafoss (waterfalls) where in the year 1000, the head law maker decided that Iceland was going to be Christian and tossed his Norse idols into the falls. (Maybe a future scuba dive?)
We found our next guesthouse in the coastal town, Husavik, checked in and set out to find Akugerdi Forest, 7th on our list. Akurgerdi Forest has a arboretum in development and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Evergreen trees (spruces, pines and firs) from Alaska, Russia and Canada are thriving. The forest is 30 miles from the Arctic Circle, is diverse and demonstrates the ability for afforestation.
Total miles traveled: 160 miles