Seasonal Note: Watch for signs of autumn as you hike through the big pines of the Lost Forty. Large-leaved aster, wintergreen berries, a hint of color in the maples. The cool winds will soon bring in the best season to hike on the Forest.
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.