Minnesota Forest Legacy Program

Public hunting property descriptions

The Minnesota Forest Legacy Program has acquired public hunting rights and other public recreation opportunities on more than 250,000 acres of forest lands in Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Koochiching, Lake, St. Louis, and Itasca counties. Hunting on Forest Legacy areas is allowed during the appropriate seasons and with the correct license. Other, non–Forest Legacy private properties adjoin these conservation areas, many of which are signed "no hunting." Hunting on private land within Minnesota is subject to state trespass laws. Check individual Forest Legacy Area maps for the appropriate motor-use restrictions.


Current open areas for public recreation and hunting

 

Clair A. Nelson Memorial Forest–Lake County property features

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Thumbnail for Clair A. Nelson forest legacy link to map

  • In early 2008, the DNR acquired a conservation easement on lands owned and managed by Lake County.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, Lake County can continue to manage the lands sustainably for the production of forest products.
  • The 6,252-acre property was acquired in two separate transactions totaling 6,006 acres and 246 acres. The property is located within Finland State Forest. Adjacent landowners include several private landowners.
  • The property contains wetlands, free-flowing rivers and streams, and several timber types, including aspen, birch, spruce, and fir. 
  • Under the terms of the conservation easement, public recreation is allowed for hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, birdwatching, and other activities.
  • Snowmobiles and ATVs are allowed on forest trails unless posted, gated, or otherwise closed to such uses.

Cass County property features | map
 Thumbnail image of Cass County  map

  • In June 2006, the DNR acquired a conservation easement from the Potlatch Corporation on 1,634 acres in Cass County.
  • Under the terms of this agreement, Potlatch Corporation will continue to own the property and manage the land for the sustainable production of forest products.
  • The property features mixed forests of aspen, jack pine, oak, and red pine; more than 260 acres of wetlands; more than 1/2 mile of trout stream headwaters; and more than 2,000 feet of lakeshore.
  • Portions of the property adjoin Pillsbury State Forest.
  • The agreement with Potlatch opens the property to public access, including hunting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, nature viewing, and hiking. A grant-in-aid snowmobile trail crosses the property.
  • The Potlatch Corporation allows motorized travel on the property's forest roads.

Crow Wing property features | map
Thumbnail of Crow wing map link to map

  • In November 2005, the DNR acquired a conservation easement from Potlatch Corporation on 3,136 acres in Crow Wing County.
  • The property contains a variety of forest types, including red pine, jack pine, oak, aspen, and lowland hardwoods; more than 350 acres of wetlands; more than 3.4 miles of frontage on the Pine River; and 1.4 miles of frontage on Pelican Creek. There is also nearly 1 mile of lake frontage on several small lakes.
  • Portions of the property adjoin state and county forest lands.
  • The agreement with Potlatch opens the property to public hunting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, nature viewing, and hiking. Grant-in-aid snowmobile trails cross the property.
  • The Potlatch Corporation allows motorized travel on the property's forest roads.

Itasca County- Sugar Hills property features | map | video
thumbnail of Itasca County map link to map

  • In May 2007, the DNR acquired a conservation easement from Liila Forest Products, a division of Rajala Companies.
  • Under the terms of this agreement, Liila Forest Products will continue to own the property and manage the land for the sustainable production of forest products.
  • The property features a 26-acre lake (Long Lake), 77 acres of wetlands, and Big Thunder Peak, all located on 1,660 acres of hilly, forested property.
  • Under the terms of the easement, the property is open to public access and recreation, including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, cross-country skiing, and other nonmotorized uses. No permanent deer stands are allowed.
  • Snowmobile use is permitted on the designated snowmobile trails.
  • Other motorized uses are restricted to the Shingle Mill Road, a private gated road open to the public in cooperation with UPM.

Koochiching Washington Forest Legacy Project | map

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  • In October 2007, the DNR acquired a conservation easement on lands owned by Forest Capital Partners.
  • Under the terms of this agreement Forest Capital Partners will continue to own and manage the land for the sustainable production of forest products.
  • The 51,163-acre property is located in Koochiching State Forest in Koochiching County and George Washington State Forest in Itasca County. Itasca County, Koochiching County, and numerous private owners own adjacent lands.
  • The property contains 18,971 acres of wetlands, three lakes, more than 90 ponds, 43 miles of rivers and streams, and a diversity of timber types.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, the property is open to public access and recreation including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, cross-country skiing, and other uses.
  • Licensed motor vehicles are allowed on the all-season forest roads. Snowmobiles and ATVs may continue to use the forest trails unless posted, gated, or otherwise closed to such uses.

Upper Mississippi–UPM Forest Legacy Project

  • This project in Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis counties will ensure permanent public recreational access for hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, and other uses. The property contains an extensive network of grant-in-aid snowmobile trails as well as state-designated OHV routes. A segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail is also planned for the property.
  • The project contains extensive water features, including approximately 30 miles of state-designated trout streams and more than 100 miles of other streams, more than 130 miles of lake and pond shoreline, and approximately 60,000 acres of intact wetlands. The managed forests provide habitat for deer, grouse, woodcock, and numerous non-game species.
  • The property provides an important forest resource that contributes timber and other forest products important to the regional and state economy.