Seasonal Note: This week (April 16) might be a muddy one along Forest Road 2240 to the Lost 40. You might want to wait a bit until the road has a chance to dry out.
Spring is a great time of year to hike the loop--watch for emerging spring wildflowers as the ground warms up. The birds are coming back and it's a wonderful time to hike through the big pines!
Step onto the Lost Forty trail and look up. Take in the towering red and white pines. Many of these trees are over 300 years old! The Lost Forty Scientific and Natural Area is managed for its old growth character.
An 1880’s surveying error placed the pines in Coddington Lake, which kept logging crews from visiting the site.
Less than two percent of Minnesota’s forested land today is considered old growth. Minnesota's state red pine "Big Tree Champion" is found here, standing 120 feet tall with a circumference of 9 feet 7 inches.
Take the short loop accessible trail to see some of the big pines, or continue on a 1-mile loop through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources designated Scientific and Natural Area.
Bring your binoculars and field guides along. There are 92 species of birds, 25 plants and 21 tree species found along the Lost Forty trail. This is a unique, diverse ecosystem!
Summer naturalist hikes are scheduled during the summer. Check the Norway Beach Visitor Center schedule for dates and times.
Other big pine areas include the Pike Bay Loop near Cass Lake, Minn. Drive or bike around Pike Bay to take in the red and white pine forest. You will notice signs of the 2012 storm event.