I haven't seen a thread quite like this here before, and as a total outdoors forest troll, I like to talk about it too.
In Finland, forest is everywhere. If its not a house, a road, a lake or a field, you can bet there's trees. The further north you go, more forested it is, until in the arctic the trees become tiny as they grow so slowly. Our thinking about land ownership and usage are very close to how native Americans think of it. Even our definition of forest differs from others, when we speak about actual forest, it means a huge area which is completely untouched, small patch of woods between housing doesn't count for anything.
Finnish tradition is rife with forest stuff, there's several forest deities and everything has its guardian spirit, each forest has its own, as do lakes, houses, saunas, everything actually. Then there are stories about little people, and not just one kind, there's faeries, then there's what translates to "elf" who can also be a guardian spirit, often seen in a form of a small person. Then there are what we call Maahinen, they're the little people who live underground and they're often depicted as small ugly looking trolls.
All of these are usually kind, but can be quite a problem if angered or if they're on a mood for trickery. There's a certain kind of spell or enchantment called "metsänpeitto", that literally means covered by the forest. That spell can be cast by a nature spirit, a deity or a witch. The point is that if you get under that spell, you will get lost in the forest, even if its a familiar one or even in your own yard, you just can't recognise the place any more and can go on wandering for hours or even days without finding your way out. There are of course ways to break the spell, one if so bend over and look at the place from between your legs, there's several others, but that one I can conjure from my memory. This sort of spell can even affect pets of farm animals.
There was a forest here in town, a weird one as its literally in town, just near where I lived back when I was a kid. Part of that forest is still standing. It was one of my favourite places to go play as it was near and it felt vast for a little kid. One time I was out there alone walking on a path which I was very familiar with, until at one point the path just somehow disappeared and I couldn't know where I was. Mind you that no matter where you were, it was maximum 1km to the nearest road or a house. I turned back and tried to find the path but I couldn't. I wandered around for a long time without recognising the place which was so odd as I know that forest inside and out. I'm not sure how long it took, maybe over an hour or something, it felt for a long time. Then finally I ended up on the other side of the forest behind some residential buildings and finally I knew where I was. Later I remember trying to find the places I went by when I was lost there, but I couldn't find the trees I saw on the way, I couldn't find some big rocks that were there, as if that place just didn't exist.
Was I just lost in "my" forest by bad luck? Or was it one of the under ground ones playing a trick on me or did the forest guardian have little fun on my expense? Who knows, but that's the only time I've been lost in a forest I know. Actually I have only been lost one other time as I tend to find my way. But perhaps there's something to the age old stories about getting bewitched in a forest.
Ok, your turn, what kind of interesting or weird things have happened to you while in a forest?
By my feet the flowers of witchery abloom.