Find a state forest

Bowstring State Forest


Beltrami, Itasca, Cass


Acres: 526,569

Motor Vehicle/OHV Classification: Limited

Approved Firewood Vendors

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

•There is no better way to see this forest than on a trail. Hike and view wildflowers, bike along a tranquil wetland, hunt grouse on a hunter/walking trail, or ski through winter woods. If your prefer four-wheeling adventures, the Soo Line North ATV Trail travels through portions of the forest, so your odds are excellent to see northern Minnesota's wildlife.

• Bowstring State Forest is in the center of the Chippewa National Forest and includes all of Lake Winnibigoshish and parts of Leech and Cass lakes.

• Anglers can expect to find excellent fishing for walleye, northern pike, jumbo perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappies, and bluegills in the numerous lakes within this forest.

More about this forest

Visitor Alert:

Due to wet and warm conditions, forest roads and trails are deteriorating rapidly this spring. Many roads and trails are not firm enough to support vehicle traffic without being damaged. The temporary closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather conditions. Note: not all roads and trails in a particular forest may be closed. Check the forest roads closures and OHV trail closures web pages before venturing out. Signs may be posted before web pages are updated. Obey all signs.

Bowstring State Forest at a glance...



Boat Ramp Nearby

Dispersed Camping





Cross-Country Skiing


Mountain Biking

Class I ATV

Class II ATV


Temp Forest Road / OHV Closures


Cottonwood Lake Campground
Moose Lake Campground

Special features

• Morph Meadows WMA
• Mud Goose WMA
• Sugar Lake WMA
• Hole in Bog Peatland SNA
• Bowstring Deer Yard WMA
• Chippewa National Forest
• Mississippi River State Water Trail
• Scenic State Park
• Soo Line North ATV Trail: Shovel Lake - Cass Lake
• Soo Line North ATV Trail: Lawler - Shovel Lake
• Soo Line North ATV Trail: Moose Lake - Lawler

Other destinations

Big Fork State Forest
George Washington State Forest
Paul Bunyan State Forest
Scenic State Park
Itasca State Park