||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)
Waldstätte (literally, "forest settlement") is a term which has been used since the early fourteenth century to refer to the wooded territories of the Alpine foothills of Central Switzerland. Drei Waldstätten or three forest cantons collectively refers to the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy of 1291, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. They were joined in 1332 by the Canton of Lucerne, and these four give Lake Lucerne its German name, Vierwaldstättersee, "lake of the four forest cantons".