Seasonal Note: The winter temperatures may have kept the 1800's surveyors from exploring this site, but don't let that stop you. Winter is one of our favorite times to walk among the big trees!
The road in to the Lost 40 is plowed during the winter, and visitors can reach the parking area by vehicle. Hike the trail by foot or snowshoe!
Listen for winter birds and watch for animal tracks through the snow. Bring along a thermos of hot chocolate for a little break at the overlook.
Step onto the Lost Forty trail and look up. Take in the towering red and white pines. Many of these trees are close to or over 200 years old! The Lost Forty Scientific and Natural Area is managed for its old growth character. Research shows some red pine at 249 yeas old, and white pine 193 years old.
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 nine feet seven inches.
Take the short loop accessible trail to see some of the big pines, or continue on a one-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!
Naturalist hikes are scheduled during the summer months, but watch for special events through the year. Check the Norway Beach Visitor Center schedule for dates and times of summer tours.
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.