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9 Thoughtful Locations for Spreading Ashes

In 2020, the cremation rate in the United States reached 56%, surpassing the burial rate of around 37.5%. This shift in cremation practices reflects a changing perspective on end-of-life rituals and how we honor our loved ones.

During this sensitive time, finding the right location to scatter a loved one’s ashes can provide solace and closure. It’s a deeply personal decision that often reflects the unique connection between the departed and those left behind. Whether it’s a serene natural setting, a place of cherished memories, or a meaningful landmark, spreading ashes can offer peace and finality.

This article explores nine thoughtful locations for scattering ashes, each offering a unique opportunity for remembrance and healing. Keep reading to discover these special places and find inspiration for your own journey of remembrance and closure.

1. Scattering Them in a Garden

One of the most popular places to scatter ashes is in a garden. This is a beautiful and peaceful setting that can provide a sense of comfort and closure for those who are grieving. There are a few things to consider when choosing the right garden for spreading ashes.


Choose a meaningful garden for you and your loved one. This could be a garden that you visited often together, a garden that is near their home, or a garden that had a special significance to them.


Consider the garden’s size and how many people will attend the scattering ceremony. If you’re planning a large gathering, choose a larger garden.


Make sure that the garden is accessible to everyone who will be attending the scattering. If there are obstacles, such as steps or uneven terrain, you may want to choose a different one.

Permitted Use

Some gardens do not allow the scattering of ashes. Be sure to check with the garden manager before you choose a location.

2. Scatter Them in a Memorial Forest

A memorial forest can be a peaceful and meaningful place to scatter a loved one’s ashes. The towering trees, gentle streams, and wildlife offer a beautiful setting for family and friends to gather and remember their loved one.

Scattering ashes in a memorial forest can provide comfort and a connection to nature. Here, the remains of the deceased nourish the earth and contribute to the forest’s vitality.

There are no federal laws that govern cremation. Instead, this is left up to the individual states. Each park has its own policy based on the laws of their state.

Many beautiful memorial forests are popular locations for scattering ashes. Some of these include:

  • The New Jersey State Forests
  • The National Forest of Oregon
  • The Angeles National Forest in California

Some National Parks require that you disclose your plans for spreading ashes. You need a “special use” permit, which you can apply for by filling out an application. This permit allows you to proceed with scattering the ashes.

3. Spread Them in the Ocean or at Sea

Our third suggested special location for spreading ashes is in the ocean. If you can access a yacht, if your loved one was into sailing, the sea is an excellent way to commemorate their passing.

If you are considering scattering your loved one’s ashes at sea, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you will need to obtain an MPRSA general permit.

Second, you must choose a location far enough offshore to be beyond the reach of tides and currents. This is at least three nautical miles from shore. You also may not scatter anything with the ashes that are not readily decomposable, such as a synthetic wreath.

4. Or at a Memorable Vacation Destination

If you and your loved one shared a special bond while vacationing at a particular location, scattering their ashes, there can be a meaningful way to honor their memory. However, it is essential to consider the following:

  • The location must be legal for scattering ashes
  • You may need to obtain a permit from the local government
  • Consider the environmental impact of scattering ashes
  • Be respectful of the local community and environment

5. Spread Them in the Mountains

If your loved one enjoyed hiking, the mountains may be ideal for spreading their ashes. The mountains provide a serene and majestic setting for honoring their memory.

As the ashes are scattered among the peaks and valleys, they become part of the natural landscape, symbolizing a timeless connection to the earth. Spreading their ashes in the mountains can be a deeply meaningful and spiritual way to celebrate the life of a cherished individual.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a mountain on which to scatter ashes. First, consider the location. If your loved one was a frequent hiker, choose a mountain that they were familiar with.

You may also want to select a mountain close to your home or where you have fond memories with your loved one. Second, consider the views from the mountain. You want to choose a mountain with views your loved one would have enjoyed.

6. Or Where a Significant Life Event Happened

If your spouse passes away, you may choose to scatter their ashes in a location where a significant life event happened. This can be a meaningful way to honor your spouse’s memory and celebrate your shared life.

For instance, a couple may choose the spot where they got engaged, or a close friend could opt for the park where they shared meaningful conversations. These places are imbued with personal history, making them thoughtful choices for scattering ashes.

7. Aerial Scattering: Spreading Them in the Sky

If you choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes in the sky, you may do so through aerial scattering. This is a meaningful way to scatter ashes because the sky’s vastness symbolizes freedom and spirituality. A specialized service can help disperse the ashes from an airplane equipped for this purpose.

Alternatively, you may opt for a more personalized and intimate experience by choosing drone-based scattering services, which are becoming increasingly popular. Both methods allow the ashes to be released into the sky, carried away by the wind, and meaningfully dispersed to the departed’s family and friends.

No federal laws govern the aerial scattering of ashes; however, some states have their own regulations. It’s essential to check with the local authorities where you plan to scatter ashes to ensure you comply with applicable laws or ordinances. For instance, the scattering from a plane must occur at least 3 nautical miles from the coastline.

When planning an aerial scattering, keep some things in mind. First, choose a reputable service provider. Several companies offer aerial scattering services, so choosing a reputable, experienced one is vital.

Second, ensure you have all of the necessary permits and authorizations. Some jurisdictions require a permit to scatter ashes, and there may also be other restrictions or requirements.

You also want to be aware of the weather conditions. Choosing a day when the weather is clear and calm is essential to disperse the ashes adequately.

Finally, respect the privacy of others. When choosing a location for aerial scattering, it is crucial to respect others’ privacy. Choose an area not likely to be frequented by others, and avoid scattering ashes over private property.

8. A Place They Never Got the Chance to Visit

If there was a place your loved one dreamt of visiting, scattering their ashes, there can be a meaningful way to honor them. For someone who dreamt of traveling to the majestic mountains of the Himalayas, scattering their ashes amid the towering peaks can symbolize a spiritual journey and a connection to nature.

Similarly, the serene beaches of the Maldives may hold a special allure for those who longed for a tropical escape. They can offer a tranquil setting for a final farewell.

Additionally, the bustling streets of Tokyo or the historic charm of Rome could represent unfulfilled wanderlust. Thus, both make poignant locations for scattering ashes.

Choosing a place that holds special meaning to them can help to bring closure to the grieving process and allow you to remember your loved one in a place that they loved.

9. In Space (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

Finally, if you have the resources, you can send your loved one’s ashes into space. Yes, space! This is an excellent option for those who were passionate about space exploration.

A few companies offer this service, and the cost starts at around $2,500. After the ashes are launched, they will orbit the earth for some time before eventually disintegrating.

Find the Perfect Location for Spreading Ashes Today

There are many thoughtful locations to choose from when it comes to spreading ashes. Whether you choose a garden, a memorial forest, the ocean, a memorable vacation destination, or even space, deciding where to scatter a loved one’s ashes is a profoundly personal one.

At Lone Star Cremation in Fort Worth, we specialize in compassionate cremation services that are simple, affordable, and convenient. Our experienced and licensed staff ensures peace of mind, and we are fully bonded and insured. Contact us today for all-inclusive packages with transparent pricing, available 24/7 for your convenience.

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