Abr Forest (Clouds Forest) - Semnan

Abr Forest of Semnan:

Shahroud Cloud Forest is one of the most pristine forests in Iran and is known  as one of the beautiful and pleasant forests of Semnan province, located 50 km northeast of Shahroud and on the way from Shahroud to Azadshahr in Golestan province and in Abar village. The 35,000-hectare cloud forest is a continuation of the lush forests of the north of the country, and since the area is covered with clouds, it is called the cloud forest.

 Due to the high natural importance of the cloud forest, this amazing forest was included in the list of natural heritage of Iran by the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization in 2010 as the 144th natural heritage of Iran. At the meeting of the Supreme Environmental Council in 2014, the cloud forest was selected as a protected area and was included in the list of four areas of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The unparalleled beauty of the cloud forest will make this magical trip memorable for any visitor. With its 40 million-year-old Hyrcanian forests, this amazing attraction is one of Iran’s most important natural heritage sites. By being here, one of every human’s dreams, that is, being above the clouds comes true. Very diverse and rare plant and animal species can be seen in this forest. In the southern parts of the forest, the parts closest to city, there is a thin flora cover but in the depths of the forest there are steep hills that are all covered with tall trees. The most famous tree in the area is the Ors (Juniper). A tree with long roots that crawls on the ground. The primary areas of the forest are the summer pastures of Golestan shepherds, but no trace of humans can be seen in the depths of the forest.

The Shahroud Cloud Forest is important to the world for three reasons: First, it is part of the ancient Hyrcanian forests, and its medicinal plants are unique in the whole world. The second reason is related to the “ecotone” of this area; That is, the boundary between the two ecosystems of the semi-desert and forest region. In the forests of this region, coniferous trees can be seen next to Broad-leaved trees, which has also been effective in animal species. The third reason is that due to the special geography of the region, which combines two low and high regions, we are witnessing the formation of a cloud ocean in this region, which is a unique phenomenon in the world.

Shersher and Aluchal waterfalls are two of the most famous waterfalls in the cloud forest, and many people try to visit these waterfalls while traveling here. In addition to these, there are dozens of other running waterfalls in the heart of the cloud forests that you can encounter on your hikes if you are lucky. Of course, it is very difficult and in most cases impossible to visit Shersher Waterfall due to the impassability of the route, and only nature lovers and professional mountaineers can reach it. Aluchal waterfall itself consists of two large waterfalls that join each other and finally form the main waterfall. The height of this waterfall, which is located in the northern slopes of East Alborz, is about 25 meters. Dalan-e Behesht (the corridor of heaven) is also a spectacular area covered with trees, which is part of the route to reach Aluchal waterfall.

If you are interested in flora, the cloud forest is one of the best places for you. Shahroud Cloud Forest is one of the most famous and beautiful natural attractions in Iran and is very famous for the ocean of clouds that cover it at different times of the year.

This forest is located in Semnan province and near Abr village and is almost at the border of Semnan province and Golestan province, where the thickness of the Alborz Mountains decreases and the clouds behind this natural wall flow from the valleys to the south. Therefore, almost from noon to midnight, as the weather cools, the forest looks like it is riding on clouds. This has changed the cloud forest and given it a different climate from all other parts of Semnan. Most of the forest path in the cloud forest is hard, complicated and difficult, and it is not possible to reach different parts of it without the presence of a professional guide familiar with the area. Abr village is located 12 km away from Abr forest and is mostly known for its accommodation facilities for travelers and tourists. Unlike the cloud forest itself, this village is located in the middle of a vast and desert-like plain. The village of Abr is located at the beginning of the forested road, and many climbers and foresters rest in the village before moving on.

On the way to the cloud forest, if you travel through Tehran Route, you have to cross the city of Shahroud or Bastam to reach your destination. Shahroud itself has so many sights and is known as a small continent due to the variety of vegetation and numerous historical monuments.

Other attractions on the road to the cloud forest include the tomb of Sheikh Abolhassan Kharghani, an Iranian poet and mystic in the village of Qala-e-No Kharqan, and the complex of Bayazid Bastami, a prominent scientist in Bastam. If you have enough time, you can also visit these historical monuments before you enter the Cloud Forest.

It is better to get everything you need from Shahroud city because the materials and supplies that are sold in the shops of the village and near the forest are very limited. Also, if you want to spend the night in the forest (especially in the early parts of the forest), get the firewood and charcoal you need from Shahroud, because you will not find much firewood in the forest.

 Shahroud Cloud Forest is one of the oldest forests in Hyrcania, and with its wonderful scenery, it attracts many tourists and nature lovers every year. This is where the earth and the sky meet; Clouds embrace the trees, and sometimes the earth seems to be riding on the wings of the sky. The high altitude of the cloud forest above sea level, the low temperature in the hot season and the abundant springs and diverse forest cover [cloud forest hosts the Naghmeh and Nature Festival] are some of the fascinating characteristics of this forest.