U & M Program


New maps make it easier to visit Minnesota state forests

The DNR has updated six state forest maps, including a digital tracking option for mobile devices

By Laura Duffey, Education and Outreach, Division of Forestry, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

five state forest maps

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has produced six new, state-of-the-art maps that will make it easier and safer for people to explore, hunt, and recreate in state forests.

"The DNR has updated six state forests with 53 more to go," said Forrest Boe, director of the DNR Forestry Division. "This five-year effort will include updated maps for all of Minnesota's state forests."

State forest users now have two maps options. A geoPDF map will allow users to download a map onto a mobile device using a variety of map apps and then track their location as a blue dot on the screen. The new user-friendly, paper maps highlight the unique recreation features of each forest and include pop-out maps for popular campgrounds and day-use areas.

 Person holding cell phone showing geopdf map

"The little blue dot that appears on the map on my phone goes with me whether I'm on or off-trail," said Laura Duffey, DNR state forest map project coordinator. "This feature lets people know exactly where they are in a state forest—no more getting lost."

The maps are also more detailed than previous versions and highlight the endless recreation opportunities in state forests, such as hiking, mountain biking, birding, berry picking, cross-country skiing, hunting, and horseback, ATV and snowmobile riding. Many state forests also offer campgrounds, fishing piers, boat launches, swimming beaches, and picnic areas.

The six new maps are available in time for fall hunting and cover more than 240,000 acres of state forest land and thousands of miles of trails.

New geoPDF and paper maps are now available for:

Digital, geoPDF maps can be downloaded from the DNR's GeoPDF downloader.

People can get a free paper map at a local DNR office or the DNR Info Center by sending an email to info.dnr@state.mn.us or calling 888-646-6367, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m.