Find a state forest

Big Fork State Forest


Koochiching, Itasca


Acres: 127,929

Motor Vehicle/OHV Classification: Managed

Approved Firewood Vendors

Title. This slideshow requires the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

•Visitors will be met with richly wooded moraine hills and numerous lakes, marshes, and bogs as they hike their way through this state forest.

•Big Fork State Forest and the Lost 40 SNA are now home to Minnesota's state tree, the red pine (Pinus resinosa), Big Tree Champion.

• The Big Fork state water trail travels through a portion of the forest, providing the canoeist and kayaker a great opportunity to explore the remote and pristine areas of the forest.

•There are no campgrounds within the forest. However, dispersed camping is allowed. Campgrounds are available at nearby Scenic State Park along with Koochiching and Pine Island state forests.

• View a video titled "A Rare 'Lost 40' of old-Growth Forest Survives Untouched" from showing a group of visitors reviewing a history marker and exploring the Lost Forty Trail.

More about this forest


Car driving along a forest road in Grand Portage State Forest.

Fall Color Scenic Drive: Big Fork State Forest offers a great fall color route. Travel along State Highway 38 between Grand Rapids and Effie in early October for best color. Want more options? Check out other State Forest scenic fall color drives recommend by DNR foresters.

Visitor Alert:

OHV Riding Restrictions During Deer Hunting Season

  • Use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on state forest OHV trails and state forest trails during firearms deer season is allowed only for deer-hunting purposes, and only within permitted times. More information

Big Fork State Forest at a glance...



Boat Ramp Nearby

Dispersed Camping





Cross-Country Skiing


Mountain Biking

Temp Forest Road / OHV Closures

Special features

• Big Fork State Water Trail
• Dishpan WMA
• Lost 40 SNA

Other destinations

Scenic State Park
Koochiching State Forest
Pine Island State Forest
Bowstring State Forest
Red Lake State Forest